Recently, we finished a few large projects and headed off-site to celebrate and retrospect with ice cream from The Parlor at Cherry Hill Market. Thanks again to the kind people at the Parlor for great service and delicious ice cream!

Each participant had a card for every other member of the team. We each wrote a sentence or two detailing something we appreciated about the person, then someone other than the subject of the comments would read them aloud.

Here are the comments we shared, in no specific order:

Ryan Montgomery

  • I like that you’re opinionated and not afraid to speak your mind. It makes for fun conversations!
  • I’m very appreciative and thankful that Ryan is able to take charge, motivate, and openly communicate on Remix and Inspire with other developers as well as clients. He helps me sleep at night! 🙂
  • I am inspired by your ideas, insights and suggestions on ways to improve processes and environment!
  • Thank you for being a leader in pursuing new processes and ew technology like the iphone. I really appreciate your willingness to go above and beyond what’s asked for.
  • Kept pushing us to get inspire going again.
  • Thanks for help on RLI DICE & Agile Zen. Looking forward to digging into Node JS per your recommendation.
  • Sticks to principles and has interesting input.
  • You are the in-house entrepreneur! Really liked your initiative about new tools and preaching agile/kanban.
  • I appreciate far more than words can express – all of your extra help – including putting handles on the cupboards & helping put tables together, and especially your willingness to to stay late & come in on the weekends to help & support Zach D!!

Zach Church

  • Considerate, consistent in both coming & going and attitude
  • Your willingness to do whatever the team needs is infectious and uplifting. Especially your willingness to take on new projects and technologies.
  • For meeting in the mornings while we cut our teeth on titanium. I appreciated the motivation.
  • I really like Mr. Church’s ability to decipher the craziness that is Remix. I can’t believe he’s only going to be a sophomore. You code like you’ve been doing it for years! Oh, and thanks for making sense of my incoherent requests!
  • Thanks for rescuing me from dependecy hell! Great job on RLI and Remix Mobile. Hope to work on a project with you again soon.
  • Task ownership of IOP and worked independently.
  • Great job being adaptable to all the different projects you are working on!
  • Things I like about you include:

    1. Easily fitting to MHS fast
    2. New initiatives (Titanium, etc)
    3. Sense of humor
    4. Punctuality 🙂
  • I really appreciate your kindness!! For taking the time out of your day to put memory in my computer!! And – for letting us borrow your tools!! Also – your willingness to go above & beyond to get things done!

Sung Yi

  • Awesome pairing! Thanks for introducing me to SASS and awesome Mayo help. Glad you made it to GRLUG! Good luck on Linux!
  • For going to Ross H’s BBQ/helping me with the t-shirt design.
  • I love Sung’s positive demeanor and energy at the office. I fine it uplifting to be around him at the office.
  • Aways there to do graphic work I am not capable of.
  • I like your loudness and you make me laugh.
  • Thanks for smiling always. Nothing phases you. Your hunger to learn is awesome!
  • Your positive, joyful, open-minded attitude is a joy to work with!
  • I LOVE your lauh and your contagious good attitude – your energy is great to have in the office.
  • I like your sense of humor. Also I like that you are a Feynman fan!

Paula Mierendorf

  • Interesting perspectives with activities and very easy-going.
  • I love the positive energy you bring to everything you do. You’re a perfect blend of strength and sensitivity.
  • Keeps Imikimi work on track and on budget.
  • I am grateful and super excited that Paula is taking over on RW and is becoming a more important presence all around. I am thankful she is generating ideas that allow us to have new and creative ways of working. I also appreciate her patience with the partners and her genuine honesty.
  • I like how you’ve been bringing in plants and making the calendar on the windows and the other things you’ve done to make the office a more fun place.
  • Directing the group to do more scrums/keeping us on task more during them.
  • Thanks for keeping us on track and on schedule! You make us look awesome to clients!
  • I so appreciate the fact that we have another female & Scorpio in the office! =) I also feel so lucky to have found a new friend – and so appreciate all of your advice! And I love that you have brought so much nature to the office!
  • You are dependable on project mgmt when I’m working with code. It’s a great relief! Appreciate initiatives like movies, company lunch, etc.

Matthew Seeley

  • Very humble about abilities; very organized and thoughtful about work.
  • The remix mobile app is pretty sweet and makes all of us look awesome – so thanks.
  • Helped me find and fix annoying IE6 issues and despite it not being fun.
  • I am profoundly impressed with Matt’s ability to be given something with often little or no direction and be able to figure it out ad produce working software, solve problems, or prototype ideas. I know I take advantage of that sometimes and it isn’t intentional.
  • Thanks so much for stepping in and helping whatever needed to be doe on Mayo. Your positive attitude and help is much appreciated.
  • I’ve had a lot of fun in the times we’ve paired together!
  • Excellent job staying open, positive, and willing to give your best ot every project you work on!
  • I like to talk about new technologies with you (WebOS) etc. which keep sme up-to-date!
  • I so appreciate your quiet kindness & always eager to help attitude! Your gentle & eager personality is so great to have as part of the team! *

Mark Van Holstyn

  • You amaze me every time we pair. Thanks for all the help on Mayo.
  • I had a ton of fun pairing with you on the IOP stuff and other projects my first week. I like the strange voices you made while talking about stupid code or stuff that’s broken.
  • Thanks for awesome help with Mayo Javascript stuff! I was very lost and learned a lot!
  • Easy to communicate with, very clear. Very knowledgeable about ideas and design.
  • Being the voice of reason when one is needed (Inspire, office stuff, etc.)
  • Mark’s well-balanced presence and opinions keep me grounded when I need it, but might not know it. I’m glad he is smarter than me and helps point out simpler solutions than what I often conjure up.
  • Excellent job staying level-headed, practical and objective when faced with a challenge or issue!
  • Extreme patience to explain things that are not clear to me & fun to work with.
  • I apprecaite yoru subtle sense of humor & your calming attitude. =)

Zach Dennis

  • Very good job staying positive and focusing on the solution!
  • I always appreciate your dedication to quality and professionalism. You do it with tremendous passion and energy.
  • Thanks for showing me some great Ruby/rails Refactoring stuff. Learned a lot from pairing, and love TDD.
  • I know I’ve had a lot of questions when I run into problems, but you’re always happy & enthusiastic about answering them.
  • Busted his butt to make Remix happen.
  • Pairing with me and pushing me to do more. *as opposed to helping too much or never having time to pair.
  • Thoughtful about the work and also very involved. Very positive.
  • I admire your coding “Prowess”. Like your DJ sessions. Any problem has a solution for you.
  • I appreciate the fact that you can put up with me @ work. =) – and all of your “extra” help after hours…

John Hwang

  • Great drive and vision with tasks. Very accountable for things.
  • You do such an excellent job of being creative and incorporating long-term ideals with short-term needs!
  • Keeps the work coming in so we can do what we love.
  • You always make it seem like you have time to talk or answer questions even though you’re everyone else’s bottleneck. 😉
  • Starting to prioritize Inspire and making it real/ad also for always “checking up” on me. 🙂
  • I am appreciative that even over-worked and stressed at times, that John has gone the extra mile to help any project (especially Remix), whether its at 10am or 10pm. It’s great t be able t rely on John when you need him most.
  • Thanks for pairing – learned lots on style and UI consistency. And the RLI styles looked really good and reusable.
  • So many things to mention! Things I wish to learn more from you:

    1. Attention to detail
    2. Leadership
    3. Communication skills
    4. Patience
    5. Vision
    6. CSS
  • I appreciate your patience – thank you for being a great teacher! And especially the appreciation you have expressed towards my work!

Auvi Rahman

  • Auvi’s been extremely helpful with MHS stuff. I always love chatting with Auvi about awesome tech stuff!
  • Auvi is the Bangladeshi Cowboy. He’s knowledgeable in a diverse set of subjects and always open to helping.
  • I appreciate your happy-go-lucky personality!! You bring happiness into the office and share it with everyone!!
  • It was fun pairing with you on the stories for Imikimi. I like how you found a way to make the features even better than originally asked for.
  • Has helped me out a ton keeping Imikimi moving forward while I am busy running around.
  • 1. You ate Indian Food at that restaurant with your hands and that was sweet. 2. You’ve been rocking out on Imikimi and everything I’ve heard from everyone has been great. So I’m sure our customer is happy!

Gretchen Knight-Dennis

  • I like your google docs surveys and see them implemented fast. Many thanks for taking care of the foods! You helps us all shine!
  • I love how you keep us accountable in the kitchen and the office. I also appreciate all of the thought and work you put into making sure everyone has a voice for everything you work on.
  • Gretchen is great to be around and she rocks the snacks choices.
  • She keeps us fed & got us nice chairs to try out!
  • You Rock! Thank you for getting on top of things especially Direct Deposit, the food, the chairs, Health care stuff. You are basically awesome.
  • Thanks so much for all the awesome work around the office and with getting us set up. You help us all shine!

Note: For those of you who may be interested more in the details of how we went about setting up and implementing the retrospective: We first handed out a pile of cards and a pen to everyone. Each person put their name on the top of seven cards (one less than the number of people present). Then we passed our cards around to the left, with everyone taking one card for everyone other than themselves. So, each person had a pile of cards with seven different names at the top. We then took some time to meditate and write our appreciations for each person on the cards. When everyone was finished, we created piles for each person in the middle of the table, all their cards together. Then, everyone took a pile for someone else, ideally the person on their right, and we took turns reading them aloud. During and after each reading, there was a bit of laughter and teasing, and we actually clapped in celebration of that person – “Yay Zach!!”, etc. After the “work” of the retrospective, we got up and ordered our ice cream and hung out eating and chatting for a bit before going off into the warm summer afternoon. Very fun!

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