A Remote Adventure in the Mountains. Recapping Xata's Spring 2023 offsite.
May 31, 2023
Imagine being part of a team of 27 talented individuals spread all across the US and 9 different countries in Europe working fully remotely on developing the best database infrastructure out there. And while we do love the remote work culture and the flexibility it provides our team members - nothing beats getting to meet face to face once in a while as well. For that reason, at Xata we make sure to meet in person at least two times a year at an off-site location. These offsites are not only meant to get to work together in-person but also to grow as a team and connect socially, which is why we also invite the family members of our team to join us.
We recently had the incredible opportunity to visit the Italian Alps together. In the beginning of May, we spent a week learning and working together, envisioning the future of Xata and growing closer together as a team. We saw old friends again and welcomed 10 new members to our team. We also somehow managed to get through the absolute mountains of food Italian hospitality provided us at every possible opportunity.
Here's a look at how our week went:
Arrival day! Our CEO Monica and the board were already awaiting us at the beautiful and quaint mountain hotel we'd have all to ourselves for the next week.
After taking some time to freshen up from the journey we gathered in the lounge for a welcome drink. This was the first time the whole team got to meet our board in person so it was the perfect opportunity to get to know them and all the new team members in an informal setting. We also got to open a welcome present each to find a customized North Face jacket and a pair of Xata earrings for those of us with pierced ears.
After taking a group picture in our new gear we headed over to a conference room for the first event of the offsite. During a panel Q&A session with our investors and CEO, they allowed us to hit them with all the burning and curious questions we had about the future of Xata, what made them excited to invest in us in the first place as well as getting to discuss the future of the tech industry in general. The evening then continued with a beautiful kick-off dinner at the hotel restaurant, allowing us to unwind together and bond over delicious food.
As per Xata's tradition, we dedicated the first day of the offsite to a full day of focused work, aiming to align our visions and strategies as a team to keep building a solid foundation for our future. We spent the morning discussing our near-term roadmap, the barriers we have yet to overcome and the very successful year we have just had. In the afternoon we split into cross-functional smaller teams to tackle more specific and detailed projects.
For dinner, we took a stroll to a nearby restaurant where we enjoyed a wonderful tasting menu of the most authentic dishes of Italy's Bergamo region.
This was also the day we realized that no restaurant in this area would let us get away without having served three full courses at the very least, even for lunch. (Did we mention a plate of pasta is considered a starter?)
Wednesday was split into both work and recreational activities. We started the day in focus groups to take existing features to the next level and brainstorm completely new ideas. After lunch, we presented our group's conclusions to the rest of the team and opened up the discussion to the big plenum.
Then it was time to put our collaboration skills to the test in the kitchen.
We divided into two groups participating in either a pizza or cocktail workshop. If you were to ask the venue's chefs and bartenders, heinous crimes were committed that day as spaghetti turned into a pizza topping and some cocktail ingredients were casually doubled at will. We had a great deal of fun, though and of course the CEO and her team won the cocktail competition.
The pizza was delicious, the drinks kept coming and we ended up sitting together enjoying the fruits of our labor until the early morning hours.
With a fresh start and a nutritious breakfast (and a relaxing yoga session for some!), on Thursday, we were ready to embrace the spirit of adventure. Even the sun decided to make an appearance in the morning. A bus transported us to the starting point of a guided hiking tour through the breathtakingly beautiful alps. As we trekked amidst nature's wonders, we shared deeper conversations, learned about the flora and fauna surrounding us and shared some amazing views. At the top of the mountain we were greeted with an absolute feast of mountains on mountains of hearty alpine dishes.
No wonder that the hike back down took almost longer than our climb to the top.
We then spent the evening first in a cozy restaurant by the water in a nearby lake town enjoying our last dinner as a group. The evening then ended with the offsite afterparty back at our hotel that once again didn't end until very, very late.
As the offsite came to a close, we bid farewell to the mountains and the extraordinary experiences we had shared. We departed in groups, heading back to our different homes all over the world. Even though the offsite had ended it was a fresh start to our collaboration and teamwork in the future and we all left with new and renewed friendships, excitement for the future of Xata and a ton of unforgettable memories.
As a fully remote company, offsites are an integral part of our culture and this one once again proved the importance of that. From productive work sessions and insightful discussions to thrilling activities and moments of relaxation, we came together as a team, fostering a stronger sense of camaraderie and motivation. This offsite showcased the power of in-person interactions, further solidifying our bonds and propelling our company's success. As we now return to our day to day work, we get to draw from our renewed spirit of collaboration and a shared vision for the future.
We’re working on a Serverless Database with great UX and DX, meaning that we have lots of interesting challenges across the board: backend, frontend, platform, DevRel, UX, and more. Want to come with us on the next adventure? Why don't you join our team or come chat with us in Discord. We look forward to hearing from you!
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