July 18, 2023 by Beulah Evanjalin A
This blog describes a four-day sprint journey in Udaipur, Rajasthan, where work, play, and cultural immersion intertwine. It highlights the arrival and preparation, team building, thought-provoking discussions, exploring Avni (the project focus), cultural immersion experiences, role clarification, team alignment, reflection, and departure
Our journey began on the 9th of July, as we set foot in the beautiful city of lakes, Udaipur, Rajasthan, ready to embark on a four-day sprint journey. As we stepped off the plane and breathed in the warm air, a sense of excitement filled the group. The excitement was palpable, but we knew we had a tight schedule to adhere to. Once we had settled into our accommodations, we quickly revised our plans for the upcoming days, ensuring we were well-prepared for the days ahead. The anticipation of the enriching experiences that lay ahead of us was invigorating, and we couldn't wait for the adventure to begin.
The second day started with a burst of energy as we kicked off the morning with a spirited game of water polo in the pool. The teams were divided, and the competition was fierce. My team, consisting of Taqi and Dinesh, managed to emerge victorious against Himesh, Sachin, and Vedant. This friendly competition set a positive tone for the rest of the day.
Following the exhilarating game, we gathered in a boardroom for a thought-provoking session. We wanted to address common questions and concerns that often go unasked in a remote working setup. The discussion delved into our daily routines, both personal and professional, and how we manage our time effectively. We shared insights into our preferred work styles, break schedules, and measures of success. This open dialogue allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of one another, fostering stronger bonds within the team.
The day concluded with a serene boat ride on Pichola Lake, a perfect way to unwind after a day filled with tough challenging deadlines. After our serene boat ride on Pichola Lake, while we were leisurely sitting along the lakeside, taking in the breathtaking views and sharing laughter, Taqi saw an opportunity. He had a mischievous look on his face as he playfully tried to push me into the water, seeking revenge for the Tamil translation incident from earlier. Although I didn't succeed in getting my revenge, the playful banter between us added an extra layer of enjoyment to our journey in Udaipur.
Donning our cute Avni uniforms, we embarked on the third day of our conference. Arjun led the day's discussion, providing a comprehensive overview of Avni's functionalities to our co-sprint mates. His insightful presentation deepened our understanding of the work we were doing and the impact it had on the organization.
One of the highlights was an exciting game of childhood photo guessing, inspired by the classic guessing game. As each photo was revealed, a sense of nostalgia filled the room. We shared laughs and stories as we tried to connect the dots between the adorable faces captured in the pictures and the familiar individuals sitting before us.
Additionally, we dedicated time to learn about Jasper Reports, a powerful reporting tool used within the Avni framework. Guided by Nupoor and Sachin, we explored the intricacies of Jasper Reports, understanding its capabilities and how it could enhance our work. Furthermore, we delved into understanding the Avni sync mechanism. We learned about the underlying principles, technical aspects (like fast sync, push and pull mechanisms), and other workarounds involved in maintaining data consistency within Avni. This understanding allowed us to optimize our workflows and contribute to the seamless functioning of the Avni platform.
The fourth day began with fun activities and meditation, setting a relaxed tone for the day. We then delved into a detailed discussion about our individual roles and responsibilities. This session provided clarity about our collective goals and how we could work together more effectively as a team. The day was not all work, though. We also had the chance to immerse ourselves in the local culture. A delicious meal of Dal Baati Churma at a Pichola Lake restaurant introduced us to the rich flavors of Rajasthani cuisine.
Also, throughout our sprint journey, we recognized the value of providing and receiving individual feedback within our team. To facilitate this, we dedicated time for one-on-one feedback sessions, where team members had the opportunity to share their perspectives and insights with each other. Through these individual feedback sessions, we gained a deeper understanding of our strengths and areas where we could improve. It provided a platform for personal growth and development, as well as a chance to celebrate the achievements and contributions of our teammates.
As our conference drew to a close, we took the time to reflect on our experiences. The past few days had been a whirlwind of learning, team-building, and cultural exploration. We were ready to leave Udaipur with a renewed sense of purpose, ready to apply our newfound knowledge and insights to our work.
However, just as we were about to depart, we witnessed two dangerous accidents at the hotel, involving some local laborers. One of them seemed particularly severe, leaving a man unconscious. These were hardworking individuals, often risking their lives for meager earnings. The incident left us with a heavy heart and a stark reminder of the harsh realities many face daily.
In conclusion, our five-day conference in Udaipur was a journey of many facets. It was a unique blend of work, play, cultural immersion, and a sobering reality check. As we return to our everyday lives, we carry with us not just the spirit of the conference, but also a renewed sense of empathy and a prayer for those less fortunate. We hope for a world where no one has to risk their lives for daily sustenance.