The Collaborate Team Works & Plays Together In Portland

When a fully remote product team gets together in person, a whole lot of fun ensues.

Like everyone at Network Ninja, the Collaborate team is fully remote. We’re spread out around the country, working from home offices and coworking spaces across all four U.S. time zones.

When the opportunity arises a couple of times per year to get together in person, we relish it. For several days in early August, we worked together, played together, and generally just enjoyed each other’s company in beautiful Portland, Oregon.

Dossier Hotel Entrance.

The Dossier Hotel served as our home base for the trip. Located in the middle of downtown Portland, there were plenty of coffee shops, breweries, and restaurants just a short walk away.

People chilling in a lounge.

Last Collaborate get-together, we got an Airbnb and separate coworking space with multiple conference rooms - there were some issues, primarily commuting, that prompted us to change tactics. This year, we got the penthouse of a local hotel (hat tip to the MainEvent crew for the idea), and a bunch of attached/nearby rooms. Here, we see several members hashing out the finer points of advanced Roles & Permissions. We do regular standups and deep-dive meetings via a combination of videoconferencing and Slack, Google Docs, and so on, but for more detailed (and contentious) discussions, in-person is great.

Inside the conversation: Roles & Permissions

We had several key takeaways from our in-person chat about Collaborate’s Roles & Permissions system. These changes were inspired by requests from our clients, and required quite a bit of discussion to figure out what ideas would be included in the effort - and how to accomplish them.

  • We’ll soon do a complete refactor/rewrite of existing permission code to support higher level customization - and to handle new requirements.
  • Case Type Access will be introduced.
  • Primary Role & Multiple Sub Roles will be added.
  • We’ll introduce Assignment Type and Service Type Mapping, with accompanying Permissions.
  • Case Status Rules will be created, which can be applied to Roles individually.
  • Administrators will be able to control the contacts displayed on a Permissions error page.
  • We’ll create the ability to schedule services without explicit “create” Permission.

Circle of MacBooks.

Working at the circular table in the penthouse was a fun and productive way to get things done. The ideas and jokes were flowing all day long.

People eating dinner.

Famished from a full day of work, our team - plus some friends and family - convened in the evening for a delicious dinner at Davenport.

Bottles of wine.

After a modest three-and-a-half-hour meal, the team concluded that we drank just the right amount of wine.

Collaborate team.

We even found time for some fitness activities. On the first Thursday of every month, there’s an Urban Adventure Run in Portland - a sort of running scavenger hunt where you visit several local businesses. A few members of our team participated. One of us struggled. All of us finished.

Avocado toast and fries.

Time to eat again. The food in Portland is always good, as evidenced by this obligatory avocado toast picture, taken by an actual millennial. Adding dungeness crab was definitely the right call here.

Cow chillin.

Summers in the Pacific Northwest are warm and dry - perfect for visiting Oregon’s beautiful wineries. Some members of the Collaborate team made it out to the Belle Pente Winery over the weekend, which features more than just wine (and cows).

Collaborate team.

As you can see, we were definitely not having a good time.

People at a picnic.

#RosèAllDay - Cheers from the Collaborate team. Card games are a staple of our company get-togethers, and members enjoyed an outdoor game of “Codenames” at the winery.

The time we spent together in Oregon, whether it was working or having fun, was very productive. It’s always a treat to meet colleagues that you communicate with online so often, but rarely get to see in person.

It was a fantastic trip, and we can’t wait to do it all over again. Thank you, Portland!


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