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From a remote village, Labs software developers shape an innovative new app

October 19, 2018

From a remote village, Labs software developers shape an innovative new app

Last week, Labs exiled several software developers to an old estate in the English countryside. They were in the final crunch of developing a powerful new app and needed a remote, distraction-free environment for their international team to gather.

“We underestimated just how remote the location was, so we had no food for most of the first day,” stated Dan Karpinski. “We had to convince a pizza place to deliver. The owner, driving his new Bentley Continental, dropped a few pizzas off on his way home.”

Fortunately, the following day, the team solved their food predicament. A distant supermarket managed a large delivery, preventing the team from resorting to cannibalism.

According to Dan, the offsite was hugely successful. “We were able to sit together and go through things as a team, face to face, which normally is impossible.” Previously, the team had to work collaboratively online — some from the London office, others from Ukraine, Portugal and Brazil. Dan was happy to finally see everyone engaged as a team, rather than individually going about their work.

Though the group worked long hours, there remained some evening time for twaddle and foolery. “We worked from our first coffee in the morning until nightfall,” stated Dan, “then had a few drinks, played some boards games and cards, and had a go on the piano, too.”

The offsite culminated in a grand unveiling of an innovative new app. A group of 22 colleagues from Octopus came to witness the demonstration. “They were very excited about what we’d created. This new technology is the core of their new business plan, and seeing it demonstrated helped them imagine how we can scale out the business and differentiate it from the competition.”

Dan hopes there will be future projects that call for such intense, offsite development. But concluded, “Next time, we’ll put a little more thought behind how we plan to eat.”