Thursday, 23 April 2015

LANMonkey Visits the Lilypad

This Tuesday I had the exceptional opportunity to drive south to the Freemont neighborhood (also known to the locals as the "Centre of the Universe") and visit the good folks at Geocaching.com headquarters - or "the Lilypad" as it's called.

I arrived early and had some time to grab a quick lunch and stroll the neighbourhood - what a quirky place! We've been to two Block Parties and have had a "rushed group" tour of the area doing the GeoTour and lab caches before, but it's fun to check it out at a more relaxed pace. 

I was greeted immediately by smiles and a fun attitude from the moment I walked through the door until I left to make my way home. It's really clear that the people who work here love working here, and are really passionate about what they do. What a great office environment and team.

My guide was Eric Schudiske, the PR and Social Media Manager for Geocaching.com. Eric was kind enough to tour me around the office, make several introductions, and also set up an interview for me with Jayme - the User Insights Analyst from Geocaching.com. She has a fascinating role, and if you'd like to hear more about that, make sure you catch episode 92 of Caching in the Northwest when we'll play that interview on our podcast.

On the tour I got to see a number of the cool spaces set of for people to work, chill, recharge, and work some more on making the website and apps everything they can be. I also met the social media team and had a quick chat there. I found out where the Signalbrau flows from; the inspiration of my favourite Geocaching mascot variant! (mental note... need to order myself the Signalbrau shirt sometime...)

In checking out the development areas, I also met up with Moun10Bike, and he showed me the very first geocoin!



Eric & I spoke about a number of things including the reasoning behind two major recent cache guideline changes (minimum time for events and 1 year moratorium on challenge caches), the 15 Years of Geocaching celebrations, souvenirs, and a hint of what's to come in May, as well as a couple of topics near and dear to the hearts of Canadian geocachers as well as those planning to attend the MVG Summertime Winter Games event.

Before we were done I also spent a bit of time chatting with Bryan Roth, one of the founders of Geocaching.com. I've met Bryan in passing before but never had the chance for a bit of a chat. It was great to meet him and I must say I have an enormous amount of respect for the organizational culture he has built here.

If you want to check out the Lilypad yourself, follow this link to arrange a visit - they love having people come and see them and treat you like family when you're there. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and look forward to a future opportunity to come down and see the team there again.

Thanks Eric, Jayme, Bryan, Jon, and everyone else I'm forgetting to mention (so sorry!) for an amazing and fun visit. I'll be back!



Some more photos from my visit are below...
One of the cleanest server rooms I've seen in a long time.


"The Creek" one of the areas for lackeys to meet, chill, and plan.

Mobile development team - with a sense of humour!



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