After I started SilverStripers back in 2010, like any other young entrepreneur I had to be focused on the company, its projects and where it is heading towards. I was pretty much doing 99% of the work when I first started it. And there have been times where I'd wake up in the middle of the night, thinking how am I going to pay the bills next week. I don't have to go through details, anyone who runs a start up web development company would know what I am talking about. However this had been keeping me glued to the office and work. I could not take a break, as there was no one to leave work with, and every project we have is very important to us.
This whole thing changed last October when I was asked whether I can visit NZ and work from NZ on a project, and get to know their processes, workflows, internal structures, set up some systems etc. I didn't think twice to say yes. But then a lot of problems came on, being a young parent of a 8 month old son (in Oct) a part of me didn't want to go, and the next biggest one is that whether the team is ready to carry on work without me being on site for a month. However I did stick to my first answer, and I got to NZ on 1st of November. Before leaving Lanka, I made sure there my best guns, Priya and Manoj are properly briefed and delegate tasks for them, and laid out some systems for them to work on in my absence.
From 1st of Nov to 27th of Nov, I was in NZ and have been mainly working with Toast, on a online tour booking system which is based on a stack of technologies, discussing and developing systems to manage infrastructure and streamline deployment processes, and working on specs, etc. And also I've got the chance to meet a few other clients whom I've worked with, and working with, and some old friends.
I've got to learn a lot from the tour, like how other digital agencies work, and how they adopt technologies, and how agile development models work in their context, and to understand a different work culture. Also I learnt a lot about my team of devs in Lanka while I was travelling, when I didn't have to spend any time on their projects they kept progressing and taking all the client requirements, and completing work. There are lots of things I observed how other people work, and manage jobs, tasks which we do is a very agile way, and which we should be improving, and the steps taken forward. However most importantly it was proved that SilverStripers is not a one man show any more and there are leaders coming up, and self driven people, which is great news for the business and the client.
I am very grateful for Toast for having me there in NZ, and looking after me while I was there. Nothing like actually seeing the people you work with everyday in flesh, and put a face to the names. Also look forward to seeing you all again.