Code camp: Fostering collaboration and accelerating innovation.
“Code camp” is a unique practice at Abzu that sets us apart in the tech industry. It’s a tradition that we hold close to our hearts, not just because we’ve been doing it for over 5 years, but because it’s a very efficient and effective way for us to create and innovate.
How to "code camp."
Every Abzoid involved in building our platform comes together at code camp with a singular mission in mind: To get their hands on a keyboard with fellow Abzoids to achieve a specific goal.
Each code camp has a a collective objective that spans across all development teams. For instance, the mission at Code camp: Fall 2023 was to create a working demo of the features in our main engine within the new UI we are developing. This aligns everyone’s efforts, no matter which team you’re on, toward a common goal.
Mixing teams for better collaboration.
A noteworthy aspect of code camp is that we shuffle teams, particularly our engine and UI teams. This mix allows Abzoids to gain a deeper understanding of how our UI interacts with our AI, leading to improved collaboration and innovation.
Into the mix: Pair programming.
We practice pair programming at Abzu. But one thing that makes code camp special is that we also mix up pair programming team members. This breaks down silos and ensures individuals from different teams collaborate.
Many years ago when we were a baby startup, it was fairly easy for everyone to be in the same room coding together. But now we are 30+ people on three teams working at offices in Copenhagen and Barcelona. It’s a challenge we embrace, and mixing pair programming teams at code camp ensures we maintain the original feeling of intimacy and collaboration.
The value of being in person.
Code camp allows us to work in person, which goes a long way to enhancing the work that we do remotely. Being in the same physical space with a fellow Abzoid fosters a deeper connection and understanding of how they think and work. This connection is invaluable to understanding nuances that can be lost in future remote work.
But, of course, code camps aren’t all about work. It’s about building bonds through activities like morning runs and omelet competitions.
Code camp: Fall 2023. What we learned.
We made some fascinating discoveries about the utilization of our AI and LLMs: We identified less effective ways to use them! And from the UI perspective, there are also a lot of things that we learned about our API. So now we are improving some of the recommendations that our AI produces and making our UI more interactive and pleasant to work with.
When (and where) is the next code camp?
We aim to hold code camps every six months because, beyond the camaraderie and fun activities, they significantly boost our productivity. When we work on our platform together in the same space, we achieve in one week what might otherwise have taken three weeks. It’s a testament to the power of collaboration and shared vision.
Our next code camp is likely to be in Spain, where the sun shines a bit brighter than in Denmark in the early months. However, we also appreciate the unmatched beauty of a Danish summer!
Victor is Abzu’s Chief Technology Officer. He has 10+ years’ experience developing software, concentrating on translation, fintech, and marketing recommendations. Victor loves to go jogging with the company of his loving dogs.