Rocket.Build 2020: Challenging Expectations
There never seems to be enough time in the day to do something extra. The days are filled with meetings and making sure solutions are provided to our customers when they need it. Rocket.Build is the one time of the year when Rocketeers can think beyond their daily work and develop solutions we feel can help our customers and fellow Rocketeers even more than before. Having this challenge brought forth every year refreshes our minds. It encourages us to take a different approach to something we’ve been staring at every day.
I’m no stranger to Rocket.Build. I’ve participated in Rocket.Build Local (in Campbell), Rocket.Build Global in 2016 and 2017, and received the Founder’s Cup Award in 2018 alongside my team members Scott Tran, Kimberly Andersson, and Michael Koyama. This year my team, which includes Scott again and Kate Wheat, decided to tackle putting together roadmaps from information found in Jira. With this project, we hope to reduce the manual effort involved in creating roadmaps so that there’s more time to focus on delivering valuable product features.
In past Rocket.Builds, my teams and I worked late in a conference room, talking code while listening to some music and drinking extra boba milk tea to stay awake. With social distancing policies in place, my team certainly couldn’t meet in a conference room to code (but trust me, I still got myself some milk tea to stay caffeinated). Instead, we dedicated time to spend together on WebEx to discuss ideas, make decisions, and have a good laugh. We also relied heavily on our collaboration tools, including Slack to make sure we continued to be on the same page when we couldn’t meet throughout the week, SharePoint to edit the same PowerPoint presentation, and Bitbucket to keep our code up-to-date.
The Rocket.Build 2020 event coordinators did a fantastic job adjusting Rocket.Bulid into a virtual event. Just like the rest of the world, we’re taking on challenges as they come and doing our best to make the most of the situation. Although things this year are not the same as before, it doesn’t mean the event is any less impactful. Bringing Rocketeers together to think of solutions to everyday problems is what Rocket.Build is all about, and I think that was still accomplished. Collaboration and innovation were thankfully not missing this year. They just looked a little different.