January 11, 2017
In 2009, Bucharest was on the pair programming tour of the first software journeyman: Corey Haines. We want to support and continue this tradition. We’re opening up our office for anyone who has a connection with software development and wants to travel and learn more.
We’ve done this informally in the past, with people we know personally. It was fun and useful, and now we want to do more.
Why are you doing this?
In one word: serendipity.
Serendipity: luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for (Merriam-Webster dictionary)
In 2009, Corey told Maria Diaconu and Alex Bolboaca about code retreats, coding katas, and coding dojos. We started doing them and the rest is history. At that time, we weren’t looking for code retreats since we had no idea the format existed. We weren’t looking for community events or training. It just happened.
We don’t know what will come from interactions with smart people who want to learn. But we trust something interesting will come up, for everyone involved.
How will this work?
You let us know you’d like to come. We discuss dates and details. You come to work in our lovely office, situated in the center of Bucharest, 3′ from the metro. We have good coffee, bean bags, lots of whiteboards, sitting and standing desks, fast internet. There are restaurants nearby where we have lunch daily.
If you need accommodation, we can point you to a studio (not the property of the company), that we trust you’ll find convenient and reasonably priced. Kind of like Airbnb for journeymen.
Due to the limited space, we’ll favor people who:
- Stay for at least one week
- Have someone we know vouch for them (we know a lot of people from software craftsmanship communities, so start there)
- Or can show some interesting work they did (book, blog, code, open source contributions, community contributions, conferences etc)
We don’t expect this to be a problem in the first few months, so don’t let these requirements stop you from contacting us.
But there are strings attached, aren’t they?
You can work on anything you like. If you want to work on your things, that’s OK. If you want to pair with our people, that’s perfect.
We expect that you’ll naturally interact with the other people in the office, and these conversations might lead to interesting ideas, collaboration or even business opportunities. In addition to the normal work in the office, we have many other interesting things:
- Fika – every afternoon, we gather for a company-wide coffee break where we discuss anything interesting
- Coding dojos – once a month, a community event facilitated by two of our colleagues
- Agile talks community event – once a month, facilitated by one of our colleagues
- Learning presentations – each month we pick something to learn in more detail and present it to the group
- Coding katas, pair programming sessions, dojos, other practice formats randomly distributed, based on needs
- Lunch break – if you choose to join us, we go out almost every day
- And you can propose something else 🙂
Do I need to sign an NDA?
No, as long as there’s no money exchange between the company and you.
A gentlemen’s agreement is enough:
- We promise not to discuss secrets in front of you, and you promise you won’t share with third parties information that looks sensitive.
- We promise to provide the office space free of charge, you promise that you won’t claim money later for any work you choose to do on our stuff.
That’s all we need.
Who else has visited us?
An incomplete list in random order: Corey Haines, J.B. Rainsberger, Thomas Sundberg, Aki Salmi, Maaret Pyhäjärvi, Llewellyn Falco, Peter Kofler, Erik Talboom, Andreas Leidig, Sandro Mancuso, Samir Talwar and many more software crafters & practitioners.
How much will it cost?
Here’s a price list to help you estimate your budget:
- €100-300 for a plane ticket (we recommend Tarom if you have luggage)
- A good lunch is about €15 / day /person at a restaurant nearby for two courses and water / lemonade.
- Beer is around €1.5 for half a liter in bars.
- Hotel Tempo, 10′ walking from the office, has a good price (~€55 / night with breakfast) and good quality.
- If you choose to live in the studio, you’ll pay around €200 per week (breakfast not included). The studio is placed near two supermarkets, 15′ away from two shopping malls, 5′ away from a coffee shop.
- Transport is very cheap: taxi and Uber are similar at €0.31/km, metro is €3.35 for 10 trips
Overall, it’s cheaper to live in Bucharest than in most European capitals.
Will you help with my visa?
The good news is that EU, US, and Canada citizens don’t need a visa to stay in Romania up to three months. Other countries have treaties as well.
Unfortunately, we cannot help you obtain a visa. We’re a small team running a tight schedule, and it would require extra work from our side that we can’t take. If you arrange your visa otherwise, you’re welcome to the program.
That’s great, I want to come. Who should I talk to?
We’re glad you’re in. Please contact our colleague Andrada and we’ll take it from there.
Find below some snapshots from the office. See you in Bucharest!