As part of our mission of having the best team, last May we celebrated in the Golden Sands of Bulgaria the first edition of the HolidayCheck Camp. Around 100 people of the Product, IT, UX & Design and Agile teams from 27 nationalities and 4 different office locations (Bottighofen, Munich, Poznań and Amsterdam) enjoyed a two-days conference.
This is the only time of the year where the whole Product/IT Organisation gets the chance to meet in one place together, sit together, work together and look for ways to improve HolidayCheck’s products. We review the way we work as a team and have a look back at all the good and bad things we have done during the last year. Since most of our teams are cross-location, this is a perfect opportunity to grow as one team.
Only one strong team that believes in sharing, enjoy discussing very different topics to find the best solutions, knows how to have fun together and cares for each other can build the best product. And that is what the Urlauber expects from us.
How it all began
With the goal of building one strong IT, two years ago our whole IT met during a couple of days to discuss and share views on different topics around HolidayCheck, IT, design, the travel industry and much more. This get-together was knwon as AllDevs and was the beginning of a great tradition.
This has evolved during last two editions involving more departments related to the IT organisation (Product, UX, Agile), different locations, colleagues from other companies (this last edition friends joined us from DriveBoo, Weeronline and Workpath) and new conference styles. And that brings us to what we are today, the HolidayCheckCamp or HC.Camp.
But why calling it a Camp?
- the camp is a place to meet, share and discuss.
- it introduces the nomadic view of the conference; each year, one different location.
- the naming does not limit the participants to being only devs.
HolidayCheck Camp 2019
This last edition has taken place from the 7th to the 10th of May in Bulgaria, at the Golden Sands, in the HolidayCheck Award 2019 Hotel Griffid Encanto Beach. For many of us this was the first time at Bulgaria and we could enjoy a great welcome by the hotel and all facilities we wished for.
After receiving our goodie bags and enjoying the first sleep at the hotel, all campers were ready for the two next days full of exchanging information and ideas that we were about to experience.
These two days conference consisted of 2 tracks: Campfire and Compass. How were they different?
Following an open space or unconference format, both conference days started with a welcoming speech and a Marketplace. Every camper was invited to introduce to the others one or more topics that she/he was interested about and to place them at the schedule wall. We had each day a total of 5 different spaces and 7 time slots to allocate all these topics.
There are some basic rules that we kept in mind for our Campfire Track and the discussions we had. They focus on the idea that this track was going to be whatever we wanted it to be and whatever the outcome is, it is the right one:
- Whoever comes is the right people
- Whatever happens is the only thing that could’ve
- When it starts is the right time
- When it’s over, it’s over
We had aorund 60 different topics we discussed about, including so exciting such as:
- how to make our product faster and more performant
- how to bring sustainability to the travel industry
- how to improve the transparency between management and teams
- how could we improve the collaboration between UX and developers
- what is the future of mobile and cross-device development at HolidayCheck
- how to do urlauber-friendly ads
- we did some hacking and coding sessions
- and much more: testing, innovation, deep learning, data and services, visual development or meeting culture
- and we even had the chance to learn some salsa and charleston moves or get to know some insides about the Indian culture from our Indian colleagues
Since we love to experiment to get better and being couragous and exciting others is part of our DNA, we added this year a classic conference track where our great HolidayCheck people could bring out the speaker in them and present us the topic they are passionate about.
Some weeks before the HC.Camp we opened a Call for Papers that got more than 20 amazing proposals. Seven of them, chosen by those who presented the topics, formed a full packed track for the second day of the conference.
Also all-new this year, the talks were being live streamed to our offices and recorded. If you want to see our amazing speakers (again) on stage, these are the links to the videos:
- Georg Köhler // Relationship innovation, should we care?
- Francesco Zanini // Farewell Docker
- Marta Kosswoska // How to be a good micro-manager
- Vladimir Plokhov // The formula of love or “True power of quantification and decomposition”
- Branko Dzakula // D-Day: Responding to a data breach in the right way
- Gabriel Bernal // Augmented and Virtual Reality in the travel industry
- Artur Szott // Where do good ideas come from?
The camp is over, long live the camp!
We are so much looking forward to the next edition and we are excited about every new idea that comes to the table. In a few months we will start sharing more details. Now we have your curiosity, we will seek your attention!