The CenturyLink Platform Team recently spent two weeks together in the city of St George in Southwest Utah. In what’s become an annual event, the team—including developers, testers, product managers and design—stayed in the “Hack House” to work on our Cloud Platform, as well as get to know each other outside the confines of our beautiful new office. By spending the time to connect with each other, we build trust and empathy, which enables us to interact and collaborate at a higher level. We’re firm believers that if you actually like your coworkers, you’ll be happier and do better work because of it. The Hack House is a great way to forge this bond.

Some of the team at the top of AngelAt the top of Angel’s Landing

However, just because we went away to sunny and dry Southwest Utah, doesn’t mean we spent the whole time hiking in Zion National Park. The focus of the development iteration centered around new role based access controls and feature flags for individual data centers, which will be released tomorrow. Still, during down time everyone took advantage of what the area had to offer, from hiking, photography, and mountain biking, to fixing that bug that always bothered you but never had time for (while hanging out by the pool).

Morning standupA little more relaxed than usual during standup

Coding at the dining table

Coding outside into the evening by the fireWorking late outside by the fire

Dinner timeA well fed team is a happy team

GamingGame session

Overall, the hack house was a success. We delivered new features to the cloud platform, had fun hanging out with each other, and everyone made it back home safely. In fact, it was such a success that next year we’ll be doing two separate hack houses, one in Spring and another in late Summer. By the way, we’re hiring.

The NarrowsThe Narrows in Zion National Park

Wading in the Virgin RiverWading up the Virgin River

Landscape photographersA few of us like to take photos

Ade shredding the JEM trailAde, shredding the JEM trail

Feeding 15 people for two weeks requires a lot of trips to the grocery store and some careful planning for scale. We’re fortunate to have some great chefs and bakers on the team, who prepped and cooked every day so that we could break bread together. Special thanks to them!

Costco runJohann dishing up pork loinThe BakerDarren browning herb lambchops