I have now officially been in Sydney for more than a month. On the whole, I would say that I have been very fortunate to be on a trip such as this. I stay in a small corporate apartment in the center of the city, near the central business district. Our office is just a few blocks away, just a couple doors down from a fantastic espresso bar (the Met Cafe….Hey Brendan!) which we frequent often. Note: Sydney has unbelievable coffee; I never knew this before coming, but it’s true.
Weekend in the Hunter Valley (Part One)
One of our teammates was getting ready to head to another project in the UK, and he and his girlfriend had a little leaving do for him up in the Hunter Valley. They rented a pretty cool house where we stayed and launched some wine tour excursions from. In the evening, we enjoyed the spoils of our tours with some hearty games of Carcassone and nice homecooked food.
It was my first time spying a pack of about 20 wallabies in the middle of a field. The funny thing is that they are as common here as deer. Overall, many similiarities to Napa/Sonoma, but definitely it’s own feel. The morning fog and the eerie bird cries in the morning are one thing I will never forget.
Seeing Sydney and Meeting Cousins I Never Knew I Had
A few days after arriving, my dad emailed me to tell me that we had tracked down some long lost cousins of ours. Apparently, they originally grew up in the same area as my dad, but eventually, the father (my cousin John) met an Australian woman and moved to Sydney where he has been running a bookshop for 20 years or something. He has two children, both about my age, one of whom is a vetenarian and the other who is a surfer. 🙂 Some email introductions flew around, and pretty soon I was having dinner with my new found familiy. Since then we’ve hung out a couple of times, and I have fun with them!
Weekend in the Hunter Valley (Part Deux)
We had the Australian version of the Away Day, which they call the Team Hug and which happens every six months. It was quite fun to meet people from all of the other offices, however, I spent most of Saturday working as we were getting close to the launch.
The amount of things that need to be done when you are building a product are amazing. Even when the software works, there is still a tremendous amount of coordination necessary to: launch marketing campaigns, provision the product, gather and document feedback, build support mechanisms, and ensure all of the legals are in place. This is just scratching the surface of the stuff I need to handle in the day to day. In any case, all I can tell you was that I was not bored.
We launched on Saturday, the 30th and celebrated with a couple of bottles of champagne and a wii tennis tournament with LCD Soundsystem blasting on the stereo. In the end, the weekend was a smash success. I never met a group that has worked as hard as my teammates, and I am extremely proud of them.
China!?!? Say What?
I am going to Sydney to present at Agile China Developer’s Day 2007. I just found out a couple of weeks ago, so in a couple of days I will be off to Beijing for a few days at our offices and at the conference. Following that, I will make a stop in Xi’an to meet some of my distant teammates from that office whom I never get to see. I am incredibly excited to experience China.
Patrick Wolf at the Basement Club
On Friday night, a couple of us headed over the this club called the Basement in Sydney, to watch a songwriter named Patrick Wolf. He was absolutely fantastic, and the house was packed. His music reminds me somewhat of Antony and the Johnsons. I highly recommend picking up some Patrick Wolf if you get a chance.