What began as an estimated 20 person trip for bonding between our remote employees turned into two weeks, four hotels, five last-minute passports, a 15 person Airbnb, 42 people, all the beer in the Netherlands and an infinite amount of mayonnaise-covered fries… and a partridge in a pear tree. Welcome to the GitLab 2015 Summit in Amsterdam.
With our goal of bonding, day one of 14 began with introductions, swag, hugs, and an amazing scavenger hunt around Amsterdam. With most people having only met over Google Hangouts, our rapidly-growing company quickly got over an initial awkwardness and by the end of the day teams were doing head butts in Dam Square, playing tricks on the local chocolatier and scheming ways to bribe the judges to win first place (bragging rights only) in the team competition.
Over the next two weeks we covered a lot of ground in the Netherlands. In no particular order here are a few of the highlights: canal tour of Giethoorn (beautiful town with canals instead of streets), Rijksmuseum, fries, a dinner at the home of our CEO’s parents (including a mean game of the Perfect Number on our bus ride there – Sid skillfully slayed with his ability to deceive), fries, celebrated our monthly release over Dutch pancakes, fries, had dinner with the family of another Netherlands-based employee at a great restaurant, fries, beer making, fries, a visit to Apenheul (primate park), fries, walking tour of Amsterdam, fries, a tongue-in-cheek awards dinner, fries, two days as sponsors at OSCON (Open Source Conference), and did we mention fries?!
Of course, there was ample time to work – we have to keep the company going. Our home base, referred to as "The Lab", was an amazing home on the Singel where our Airbnb host became a GitLab groupie and supported us in our remote style of getting things done and enjoying our lives.
Biggest “ahas” of the trip? Dmitriy might love chocolate more than coding, Amsterdam is a truly spectacular city where simply walking around is amazing and most importantly, as the wise Marin Jankovski said, “2 week @GitLab summit ended today. Main thing I learned: my colleagues are not only 100% professionals but also 500% great people.”
So, what’s next? We have already begun brainstorming our next summit – location and dates TBD. You can be sure that we will rise to the bar that has been set and provide yet another memorable experience that supports the idea that those who work remotely are able to have their stroopwafel and eat it too!
From the folks at GitLab
Hear our team talking about what they love about working at GitLab, Inc.
Would you like to join our next GitLab Summit? Well then, you'll have to join the team. Please check out our current job openings. Maybe there is a role for you. :)