I have been privileged again (in fact 4th time) to be chosen as an SDL Web MVP for the year 2017 by SDL along with 20+ other MVPs.
Every year the MVPs have been invited to Lisbon for the annual retreat where we all will head to a surprise location to discuss, work, eat and drink followed by some fun activities – This year was no different as we have to reach Lisbon maximum by 4th October and participate in this retreat till 8th October.
4th October – Day 1:
This is the arrival day for all the MVPs where in an all expense paid trip by SDL to Lisbon, Portugal we have to reach no later than 4:30 PM. At the airport, we were greeted by the best hosts – Carla Osorio, Paulo and Christelle – and have some drinks outside the airport while waiting for others MVPs to come and join.
Later we headed for the historical city of Ourem – the surprise location of this year. We have been welcomed by the Hotel staff and given our room’s key after normal formalities. This Hotel – Pousada de Ourem is an awesome place to stay, just near the Castle and have amazingly clean, big, premium rooms – I was feeling like a king 🙂
Most of us after our long flights/journey was tired and relax over there while others are having drinks, playing music, swimming in the pool and what not – Our own Mark Saunders broken all records of “Least Sleeping Hours in a day” – as he indeed didn’t sleep at all and having all the fun.
5th October – Day 2:
The day starts as early as 9ish in the morning after the breakfast. After the usual internet, projector, connector related minor issues, finally Nuno Linhares addressed all MVPs followed by a Video Streaming sessions by Onno Ceelen and Likhan Siddiquee from SDL on Roadmap of SDL Web and Unified Extension deployments – Which were a great learnings.
Nuno followed this with an overall review of the year 2017 and the objective of the event – Which eventually turns out to discuss few ideas, divide it in teams and work on them with clear goals and deliverable.
I have been put in a team lead by Peter Kjaer with Chris Morgan, Mark Saunders, Alvin Reyes and Hem Kant and we have to understand the Tridion Powershell Module developed by Peter and work on it to extend with new feature and demo. The objective was to get accustomed with it and share the knowledge among the group through demo to make life of SDL Tridion developer easier – I would be having a separate blog on technical details of it.
The night again starts with drinks, music and fun which last till just before the morning alarms.
6th October – Day 3:
The day started as usual with breakfast and then at 9ish in the morning, Niclas Cedermalm gives an excellent session on Tridion connectors with most of the leading third-party products in the market which was enough to open the sleep-deprived eyes of MVPs.
Learning about the strategy and solution that are on the edge to become popular is really great.
We then again grouped in to the teams and started from where it was left one day before.
Post lunch, each team explains the objective of their tasks and later demoed the implementation and functionalities that each team has achieved
Overall, it was so productive and learning exercise.
In the evening we all gather went to the nearby famous tourist spot – Fatima – where people prayed in the famous Church and did a bit of tourism.
On the way back, we got to this beautifully setup restaurant and have delicious food.
After reaching back to the hotel, despite of fully packed day, the energy level of everyone was high and the night was as usual “Haseen” with drinks, music and all the fun activities.
7th October – Day 4:
This day was planned to be relaxing, socializing and exploring the Portugal. We started the day at 10 in the morning. We got a local guide which took us for a informative tour on a local church, the city tour and the famous Ourem castle tour
We then headed for “Nazare”, the famous spot for surfers and having wonderful beaches. The Nazare is famous for its high waves and in fact have the record of highest wave surfed ever in the world. First some brief shopping in the local market followed by Boat Ride to the spot in the Atlantic ocean where the highest wave has been surfed – it was an amazing experience to feel those high waves in the ocean – honestly, it was scary (as I do not know swimming) but adventures.
We then came back to the hotel where open air barbecue waited the hungry MVPs. They got Pork and I was saying once you see a pig in India, you would never eat a Pork in your lifetime :P. I on the other hand enjoyed my “Raajma-Chwal” and famous Portuguese soup and then it again started – The drinks, fun and Music
8th October – Day 5:
While few of the MVPs have flight early in the morning and they left early, rest of the MVPs were carefully been dropped to the airport for their respective flights by our humble, high profile drivers – and few of us were happy that the driven thing is a Car and not a Boat 😛 – Anyway, Big thanks to Paulo, Nuno and Raimond for bearing with noisy passengers
And Bigger thanks to Carla, Paulo and Christelle for arranging and managing this well.
Feeling re-charged, re-energized, hope to see you guys again next year!!