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Like many vendors in the Atlassian Marketplace, HeroCoders is on the journey from being a start up to becoming…something that is no longer a start-up. Our fully remote team grew by more than 50% in the last year and we plan on hiring a few more people in the upcoming months. Growth is great, but we also felt like it was time to pause and assess where we are and where we are going. So we donned our hero capes and flew into Athens to pass the first week of September at a team retreat.
Most of us were meeting face to face for the first time so there was eating and drinking to be done! But we also SWOTed, discussed our company values, and our plan for growing over the next few years (Atlassian and beyond!). Our discussions often circled back to the big question of how we can steer our growth while remaining agile and not – heaven forbid– becoming bureaucratic. Being in a room together made it easier to get down into the weeds on challenging issues like how to improve communication between Dev and adjacent teams (Marketing, Documentation and Support), and how to incorporate more dog-fooding into our processes.
There was also plenty of time to “play like a team”. We ate fried cheese, climbed the acropolis, and cruised to some neighboring islands.
This was our first time planning an international retreat and we learned a few lessons that we’ll apply in the future. Not all of our team members were able to attend, some because there wasn’t enough time to get visas in place. In the future, we’ll pin down the destination sooner to give everyone more time to make their arrangements. An outside agency coordinated activities for us which worked well, but we should have communicated our expectations better to the hotel (a projector would have been nice for discussing the UI…).
We are now back home, getting back into our usual work, but with renewed enthusiasm. And we are brainstorming on what everyone agreed was the most important question: Where should we have our retreat next year?
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