What happens at Vizzcamp doesn’t stay at Vizzcamp.

When we retreat, we come back stronger.

Camellia Williams
Jun 13, 2019 · 4 min read

When your teammates are located across three time zones and two continents, opportunities to kick-back and relax with one another can be few and far between. That’s why we go to Vizzcamp. To spend some quality time with our teammates and discuss ideas that can make our work even better.

Three years ago, when we first wound our way up some narrow mountain roads, our team was growing quickly. And as we grew, we realised we needed to find a way of preserving the culture that makes us who we are, whilst making sure we don’t block our own progress.

Twenty-six people and one dog went to our first Vizzcamp. Now we are 46.

Today, we’re seeing the benefits of that very first Vizzcamp, and the ones that followed. We have guidelines—created by us—that help us make autonomous decisions, take the lead on new initiatives, and improve the flow of information. But most importantly, we have a strong sense of community.

2019 marked the first Vizzcamp since our transition into a self-organised organisation. The agenda wasn’t set by our CEO, CTO or CDO. Instead it was set by anyone and everyone who proposed a session. We had all-day hacks, writing workshops, and introductions to Google Earth Engine.

We ran sessions on how to improve the way we organise ourselves, give feedback, and make decisions.

“The very interesting discussion in the project life cycle session was one of the highlights for me. It was really great to hear different ideas and points of view and bring it all together!” Simão Belchior, Project Manager.

We talked about how to make our office purchases more environmentally sustainable, and debated which organisations and businesses we’d like to work with.

But it wasn’t all talk. When you have three offices in three countries and a contingent of remote workers, spending quality time with the people you normally only see on screen becomes extra important.

What better way to bond is there than going for a paddle?

“When you suddenly remember your uncommitted changes and see Barrenechea coming at you full speed in a kayak — that’s a Vizzcamp moment I’ll never forget.” Dani Fernández, Front End Engineer.

Or staying up late and singing all your favourite songs?

“What did I enjoy most about Vizzcamp? Our very talented musicians performance.” Luisa Teixeira, Project Manager.

“By the time we sang Save Tonight for the fourth time, we were note perfect.” Ed Brett, Front End Developer.

Or taking a hike and enjoying the scenery?

“Everyone made me feel welcome: we played football, kayaked, and I taught some people how to whistle. Next year, I hope we play board games and do a pub quiz!” Greta Carrete Vega, Scientist and newest member of the Vizzteam.

Everything we do at Vizzcamp shapes us, both as individuals and as a team. When we retreat, we come back stronger. And that’s the way we like it.

In 2019, 41 members of the Vizzteam went to Vizzcamp.

If Vizzcamp is something you’d like to be a part of, why not take a look at our vacancies? We have openings for a DevOps/Cloud Engineer, Full-stack developers (Rails), Software Engineers, and a Senior UX Researcher.

Vizzuality Blog

Posts on data design, user research, open data, and software development. We create tools and applications with a lasting benefit to society and the environment.

Camellia Williams

Written by

Lead Writer at Vizzuality.

Vizzuality Blog

Posts on data design, user research, open data, and software development. We create tools and applications with a lasting benefit to society and the environment.

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