When working as a consultant over many years, one has good projects and one has bad projects. But every now and then there is a truly great project where a combination of customer buy-in, sufficient resources and competency, and great people lead not only to success but also to a lot of actual fun. Many years ago I had the pleasure of working on a very large project in Gothenburg when I was lucky enough to meet some fantastic people.
For me rare was the project where I actually looked forward to departing for the week. Although I always loved seeing new places, I never liked traveling for work that much. But getting on the plane for Gothenburg could actually lift my spirits, especially if the week before had been at one of the not-so-great projects. The meetings were well-organized, requirements clearly expressed even if complicated, and the team was positive about the new technology. But that was all secondary to the people themselves and the experience. There were relaxed lunches with interesting conversation, coffee breaks where I could actually take a break and not continue to discuss the project, drinks after work, trips to the amusement park that was literally across the street from the client, and even mulled wine and Christmas rolls to mark the end of the year with me before the holiday shutdown. I always left Gothenburg with a smile and today that same smile returns to my face when I think back, not so much of the project, but rather of the people.
Carl did us the honor of inviting us to his wedding in Stockholm a few years ago, and we had a great time, enjoying the city for a weekend. However I did make a promise that I would be back to Gothenburg one day for vacation instead of business. And though I was excited to share with Elise a bit of what I was fortunate enough to have experienced, we never seemed to get around to actually planning the trip.
We finally spent a week on the east coast this summer with some time around Hamburgsund and also in Gothenburg. Niclas, one of my friends from the project, had since actually opened a bed and breakfast near Hamburgsund, where of course we had to stay.
Things change and time marches on and whatnot. But it is wonderful when people are just as one remembers.