Working at Hibernating Rhinos

Published on 2013-2-11

After a week off in the Western Isles, I've started a stint on my adventures working in Israel for Hibernating Rhinos.

Most of you are familiar with this company, but for those that aren't, it's @ayende's company, and they make the profilers for various ORMS and that document database we all love, RavenDB.

This is a good one for me, I've never been to Israel before so that's a big+1, I'm already pretty familiar with the product and code-base having spent a while talking about it and contributing over the years - and as I've just spent a holiday doing no code I'm pretty excited to be getting some work done.

I made it through security at about 1am after being asked too many times "what are you doing in Israel" and being unable to think of a truthful answer that didn't make people suspicious. "I'm on a working holiday" led to questions of payment and of course I'm currently free as in beer so that's something I need to work on if I'm going to any other countries with strict entry requirements.

Anyway, I've got a car while I'm here and an apartment for the next week and I'm doing work on RavenDB, what work you ask? Well, like any good employer, Ayende has created a to-do list and let me get on with it how I like.

I quite like this way of working, "Here is a pile of stuff that needs doing, get to it and ask if you need any help", no long meeting to align on vision and share synergies with stakeholders, no complicated requirements document or architecture plans - just a list of bullet points and the expectation that I'll go and seek the information that I need to get the job done. (Managers take note!).

This is also a very productive way of working, I'll talk more about the actual work I'm doing in the next post, but what I can say is that I've cleared most of what I was expected to do in the whole time I'm here in the first couple of days of arriving. That's what Getting Things Done is all about and it aligns well with my aims of working on travelling.

How we are working is nice, as I said - there is a to-do list, that's publicly visible on issues.hibernatingrhinos.com under the tag "Rob's sprint", I'm working off a fork of the main project and keeping a pull request open as I go through - the current pull request can be found here, and here is a screenshot of that so far:

And this is the issues list so far (green means 'done')

I've got plans of tourism on Friday and Saturday (Sunday is a work day in Israel - that's something new I found out), maybe I'll put some photos online of me floating in the dead sea.

I'll write about the actual work I'm doing in the next few entries.

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