This blog post was written by Kristina Marina and Eddygun Arnaud.
Weekend. Saturday morning. After almost 2 years of video calls during the global Covid-19 pandemic, a team of excited Open Social employees met up in the Amsterdam airport Schiphol for an upcoming 5-day trip to join our partners Lemberg Solutions in Lviv, Ukraine.
Our new Delivery Manager Eran was the first to arrive at the airport. But like the Avengers we quickly assembled: Ronald, our lead developer; Marijn, our Information Security Officer; our CEO Taco Potze who quickly handed out boarding passes; and of course the two of us: Eddygun, representing Customer Support and Kristina as Sales Development Representative.
A Day of Ukranian Food and Culture
Upon arrival in Lviv, we were dressed warmly. We heard that there had been quite a big storm the day before, so we expected it to still be kind of dark and gloomy. But the opposite was true. As we stepped out of the airport on our way to the cab, we were greeted with beautiful sunny weather!
A quick ride took us to our hotel in the city and at 19:00 had for a welcome dinner at Krumpel with Lemberg’s Co-Founder and CEO Ros Bulych and their Head of Development Roman Paska.
For our first full day in Lviv, an entertaining agenda has been prepared for the Open Social team that included a unique tour through historical parts of the city. Our amazing tour guide Artem Bondar really painted a picture of the living history we were seeing all around us. Lviv is the largest city in western Ukraine and boasts a beautiful historic center that is rightly included on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
The friendly Ukrainian culture, delicious food and pleasant atmosphere made sure that we created some good memories. In the second half of the day, there was a Leopolis Jazz Visit at Rynok Square followed by the EURO 202O match (Netherlands – Czech Republic) later in the evening. After the match, our Dutch colleagues decided to cheer for the Ukrainians during their football game.
At the same time that we were wandering around the city, our CEO Taco joins Lemberg’s CEO Ros for a family BBQ at his home to do some long-overdue personal reconnecting. It’s great to get away from the calls and computer screens once in a while and talk about things other than business! After all, Lemberg and Open Social go way back.
Getting Some Work Done
Monday morning. Lemberg warmly welcomed the Open Social team to their office to get the week started. We were excited to talk and share ideas with our partners at Lemberg.
For those who don’t know, Lemberg is a software development company that reinforces SMBs and SMEs all over the world with powerful digital tools, like e-commerce portals and community platforms. They are one of our closest partners. Together we build tailored solutions for the most ambitious organizations, like the United Nations, ensuring maximum flexibility and scalability for our community platforms.
While working on these platforms both Open Social as well as Lemberg have grown a lot. Over the years our teams have grown, as well as our processes and expertise in developing community platforms. We saw this trip as a good opportunity to spend some time together, in person, and share new knowledge and ideas between the two partners.
Ronald hosted a workshop together with the Lemberg developers on open source technologies, releases, versioning and so much more. And during the internal & support meetings, background project and development programmes such as the Open Social mobile app were discussed. It’s an exciting project that will give clients a quick and easy way to connect with their members through an official Open Social app on Android and iPhone.
The working days at Lemberg’s office were full of inspiration, ideation and also just good conversations.
Wednesday. The five-day trip was over much too soon. It really doesn’t feel like work when you get to meet new people, explore a city you’ve never visited before and get to know your (remote) co-workers in person over a plate of delicious Ukrainian cuisine.
It was an amazing opportunity to also hang out with our counterparts at Lemberg, and get to know them a bit better too.
Finally, we waved goodbye to the city of Lviv and boarded the plane back to Schipol, exhausted, excited and already looking forward to our next meetup with Lemberg!