The last day in Budapest we wandered all over the city, including the Grand Market Hall.
Back in April I traveled to Budapest. It was my second time in the city, the first was for Automattic’s 2011 all-company meetup. This time the trip was for a team meetup as well as the Write the Docs conference.
It was also my first trip with the Fuji X100S. I bought this back in March to replace my old Nikon DSLR. The Nikon was a perfectly workable camera, I just wanted something that combined a smaller size with more manual control and range. After shooting with it for a week I love it. Really fantastic camera.
The meetup was great, too. I woke up around 6:30am each morning and walked around the city for a few hours before everyone else got up. It’s fun to explore a city as it’s starting the day; you tend to learn a bit about local routines. The downside is all that time walking around the semi-polluted streets likely factored in to me getting sick on the last day there.
Most mornings I’d walk north from our apartments. This brought me alongside the Danube. Following it for a mile or so would bring you to slightly more upscale neighborhoods where you could see Parliament’s dome peeking through the side streets.
Parliament itself is also a beautiful building. It’s this Gothic combination of white stone with a red roof that really shines in the morning light.
It was fun to be in the city during nice weather. The trip in 2011 happened in October so the weather was pretty dreary. Not this time. The “worst” weather we had was an overcast day when exploring the castle hill.
From up here you get a great view back out over the city. I’m not sure how clear the visibility ever really gets, but even on this cloudy day it was great. If you peek down toward the bend in the river there’s Parliament again.
I remember from 2011 being enamored by the roof tiles of the Matthias Church on the hill. Since we had more time this trip we wandered inside as well. Pretty incredible.
The stained glass didn’t disappoint, either. Really nice colors despite the overcast light outside.
Our apartments were near St. Stephen’s Basilica, too, so one afternoon we wandered over there. The domed ceiling was nicely done without being over the top.
From the top we also got a nice view of surrounding rooftops. Would have been great to catch it on a sunny day but at least it wasn’t raining.
Plus, on the way down the stairs we got a nice group shot of some of the team.
My favorite shot on the trip, and my current desktop background, came toward the end when we took a boat cruise up and down the river at dinner time. This is Parliament again, but lit up at night.
Great trip overall. Looking forward to taking my camera out more often now.
I talked with Chase Clemons on his Support Ops podcast yesterday about how we run support at Automattic. We talked a lot about live chat support and how we manage a team of 40+ Happiness Engineers.
It was a live Google Hangout so you can watch the video below:
I had a fun time talking with Scott Tran about the support team at Automattic. The podcast is about 40 minutes and we covered everything from hiring to team structure to the type of culture we value. It’s live now over on Scott’s site.
This was my first time recording a podcast and it was a lot of fun. Scott has other interviews that focus on support at companies like Basecamp, Olark, and Zapier. If you’re interested you should give them a listen.
Barbecued steaks, asparagus, and portobello mushrooms. Great first dinner in Charleston.
Getting 2014 travel started right with a free upgrade to first class. On the way to Charleston, SC for a hiring-focused meetup.
Just a few steps from the house we’re staying in lies the beach. I’ve had a wonderful few days working with the Jetpack team at Automattic.
It’s now easier than ever to create a messaging system that doesn’t result in a flooded inbox.
A great post from Help Scout about how their team works. Really cool to see that they use P2. I wrote a bit last week about how we use similar tools and ideas with our support team at Automattic.
My co-worker, Alx Block, writing about his experience at UserConf:
The only way that your start-up will set itself ahead of the pack is by providing the best customer experience. Loyalty drives us, and without support, we are nothing…I’m passionate about helping WordPress.com users be the best that they can be. I’m proud to be a Happiness Engineer. I’m proud to call myself support.
Enjoying the last night in Santa Cruz at the Automattic meetup. Beautiful weather this week.