I’m Ryan Hopkins, a Growth Associate here at Web Summit. I’m one of the 25-strong Web Summit team that’s travelled to Lisbon for a week-long hackathon and to meet the local tech community…
We arrived in Lisbon last weekend. Excitement was the overwhelming emotion coming over, not only to get out of the weather that is currently turning Ireland into one giant puddle, but also to finally see the city that will host Web Summit 2016.
We all met up early on Saturday morning and no time was wasted. Our Head of Engineering JD and our Lead Data Scientist Fionnán told us how our day and week were going to look.
The weekend was to be all about brainstorming and idea generation. Paddy C then told us what to expect from the trip, the coffee machine was kicked into gear, and lively discussions interspersed with laughter fired up across our apartment.
Brainstorming can bring you to weird and wonderful places at times.
We’d break into groups and head for a café or restaurant to chat and come up with ideas, before meeting back at the apartment to present our ideas to the team.
After each presentation – and further into the evening over a few beers – we all began to try and add our own thoughts to an idea if it had piqued our interest.
By the end of Saturday, themes were beginning to emerge.
I’d be the first to admit to being a little uncertain explaining new ideas on our first day. Saturday’s uncertainty however was replaced with clarity and conviction on Sunday.
The day began with one last batch of presentations, and then a voting system was introduced to see what projects we wanted to work on.
The great thing about this system was that we were given the chance to work with people with whom we wouldn’t work directly back in our HQ in Dublin.
After getting some fresh perspectives on our ideas, we had a little downtime and got to see some more of Lisbon.
Some of us just chilled out; some played Mario Kart, while others played some incredibly competitive beer pong. By early evening, the previous few days had caught up with us and we had a fairly early night.
We dived into our projects – it was brilliant to get a chance to push the complexity levels on ideas that may not even be possible to execute.
When we got back together on Monday evening, it seemed that a lot of our team had really been pushing the boundaries on their work, too.
Whether or not these ideas can even be implemented remains to be seen. Regardless, it’s been exciting to swing for the fences on the kind of work you just don’t get a chance to do most of the time.
Tonight, it’s time to get to know some people from outside Web Summit, as we host the first of our meetups with the Lisbon tech community in Hennessy’s Bar at 7pm.
If you’re in the city, please feel free to come meet us for a drink and chat. You’ll find the details on this meetup, and another on Thursday evening, here.
It’s time for me to sign off on this work version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid – I hope to meet some of you in Lisbon this week.