Robin MorrisThe last few weeks have been busy here in Baynote engineering. We’re about to go live with a new algorithm that runs on all of the new infrastructure that the platform team has been building over the last few months. The models are built on our hadoop cluster and incorporate a lot of the ideas I’ve written about in earlier blog posts.
But more about that will have to wait for another time. Because as well as the technical work we do, we also take time out to have fun. Now I’ve been to a bunch of “team building” events in the past where I’ve seen no evidence of either team nor building and would have preferred to have had my teeth drilled (or debugged someone else’s perl or APL scripts). But Friday’s event was different. It was fun. I got to know a bunch of Baynoters from sales, marketing, professional services and ops and now have a much better appreciation for how the whole company functions and how the individuals make it happen.

So, what did we do last Friday? We divided up into 7 teams (one for each letter of Baynote) and chased around downtown San Jose looking for the solution to a set of very inventive clues, and performed silly bonus activities. Our team was aided by the presence of John LeMieux, who knows downtown San Jose better than Google does.

So play along yourself and see how many of the following you can find:

A.    Baynote HQ
B.    The shoes of Knight Ridder’s CEO
C.    California’s oldest public space
D.    A large sundial
E.    The statue of the Spirit of Sparta
F.    How many people you can fit in a telephone booth
G.    Where can you tie up your horse

And while you’re at it: shake a dog’s foot, climb a fence, give a stick of gum to a police office, find a busker and a life sized elephant and a fixie.

And once you’re done with all of that, have a really good lunch with the rest of your team. (I recommend 71 Saint Peter.) At Baynote, we also know how to have fun.