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Paul Paradise

NetGen Retreat, Day 1

I have to wake up at 5am tomorrow to make it out of the hotel and into the Washington wilderness (where there’s no wireless, only 3 phone lines, and spotty cell phone reception!), so forgive me for the brevity of this post.

Today, Seattle was nicer than San Diego – I took off into the marine layer, and once we were above the clouds in the air, there was no turbulence and it was probably the quietest plane trips I’ve even been on. Not sure what model plane it was, but I want to ride it again. Seattle was about 75 and sunny – barely any clouds in the sky.

This evening we had a kickoff meeting for the retreat, where those of us who are new to the team (Myself, Walter – an intern starting next week, and Jason – a full-time dev starting August 18th, along with Aarthi, who started 2 weeks ago as a dev) got a quick run-through of where we came from and where we’re planning on going, along with the coolest Flash mockup I think I’ve ever seen. You’d think it was an actual functioning product instead of a carefully scripted series of screenshots, based on the presentation.

In that time I’ve learned that we’ve switched from being under the Windows umbrella to being under the MSN umbrella – meaning that we’re now going to integrate a lot with MSN services. I’m not entire sure what that means as far as the direction of the product (it seemed to already be going in that direction), but I’ll probably see more once I’m there full-time. I also learned that it’s apparently a common thing at MS to count how far down the ladder you are from Steve Ballmer (It was previously Bill Gates a few years back when he was the official top of the company). <sarcasm>I’m only 8 people away, including myself!</sarcasm>

Everyone was really laid back in the group, and complained a lot about the place we’re going to – which doesn’t provide towels, lacks in-room sheets, and just seems to only have the wilderness going for it. Hopefully the wilderness will be worth it, and the lack of connectivity will let us get some real work done. We’re going to be doing a couple of small group scenarios, and eventually the trip will culminate with a trip back to Redmond, where we’ve got a 2-hour chat with a VP at Microsoft.

Anyways, it’s bedtime – more updates in a day or two. I can’t promise any super-cool Threedegrees secrets, however.