From Remote Screens to Mediterranean Dreams: A Memorable Meet-up in Mallorca!

October 9, 2023

When you’re part of a global remote team, you mostly communicate through screens and messages. But there’s nothing like the magic of meeting face-to-face. And that’s precisely what the WPML development team experienced at the recent Mallorca meet-up!

The meet-up was a pivotal moment for the WPML development team, providing them with the opportunity to bond with their team members. For many of them, it was the first time they had the chance to meet their colleagues in person. 

Beyond the camaraderie, the meet-up was also a chance for them to collaborate and enhance their WPML development efforts. 

Team photo taken during one of our outings

A Backdrop to Remember

Mallorca has beautiful beaches and big mountains. For a team accustomed to virtual meetings, meeting up in such an extraordinary place was special. 

Stunning ocean views

As developer Vaughan Carruthers eloquently put it, “I had expected Mallorca to be a beautiful Mediterranean island with crystal-clear waters and expansive stretches of beaches. It indeed was stunning, and swimming in the clear water, with its gentle waves and absence of currents, was fantastic. The island was much more mountainous than I had anticipated, and it was certainly busier than I’d expected.”

Clear waters of Mallorca

All in all, the beautiful place contributed to a great atmosphere within the team. 

Our Product Lead Ivan Guillen said, “The time I spent there was very good. I immediately felt comfortable with everyone. The location was nice and the weather was awesome.”

A Memorable Trip

Getting together with a nice bunch of people is sure to end in some great memories.

Pierre Sylvestre recalled the activities they participated in: “We worked nicely during the day and we managed to organize some nice activities like swimming at the pool, visiting the beach, and a city visit.”


One of the highlights of the journey was a visit to Bellver Castle, which left a big impression on Eduard Pleh: “We had a great trip with the team to Bellver Castle in the center of Palma, which is located 112 meters above the ground. You can go upstairs to the circular roof, from where you can see some amazing views of the city, port, and mountains. It was definitely a great place to visit.”

Pierre recounted another particularly enjoyable group activity: “We played a game where each one of us played a song from their country and everyone had to try and recognize it. It was really fun!”

Of course, no trip is without its share of funny mishaps, such as the time they unintentionally ordered food from a kebab takeaway counter instead of the tables. Vaughn humorously recalls: “We had a good laugh when the owner told us, ‘What do you think this place is? It’s a restaurant; you order from the tables.’”

Working Sessions that Transcend Screens

It wasn’t all play and no work! There were also productive work sessions dedicated to improving the WPML development process. Pierre led a presentation on the new WPML Export and Import plugin, shedding light on its progressive structure. This presentation helped the team understand daily work of the Compatibility Team better and allowed them to share valuable coding practices.

They also delved into the intricacies of the new WPML code structure, discussing the principles that will guide their development in the future. They used the Automatic String Registration feature within String Translation as an example to illustrate the potential of the new structure.

These conversations helped the team gain a shared understanding of the current codebase and the associated challenges. Together, they explored solutions such as Core Code separation (Domain-Driven Design), Interface Segregation, and the usage of Adapters for legacy code. Additionally, they considered implementing the Facade design pattern to create clean entry points to WPML plugin logic. 

Pierre delivering his presentation

These technical discussions laid the foundation for future WPML development endeavors, ensuring a more robust and efficient codebase.

Pierre highlighted the importance of in-person presentations: “Having this presentation live was more interactive than a remote presentation. People attending the meeting might be more comfortable to ask questions or share ideas.”

Why Meeting Up Was Important to the Team

1. Synergy

The synergy that occurs between remote colleagues when they meet up always sparks newfound energy and creativity. The meet-up has already kick-started new projects.

Eduard shares, “We had some nice presentations about our latest plugin structure as well as some new ways we will organize our code for upcoming features, which gave additional insights about our future work and code organization. Actually, I’m already working with the new code structure this week for the new auto registration of the strings feature.”

Jakub Bis echoed this enthusiasm, saying, “Finally, we had a meeting about our future code architecture in WPML. I am eager to start coding in the new way.”

2. In-person discussions

Ivan highlighted the unique value of in-person discussions: “We had conversations about our technical interests, code structure, and good practices; discussing it in person was interesting and a different experience than what we do on a daily basis.” 

Vaughan had a similar impression: “I believe that connecting with my colleagues on a personal level and discussing the history of the company and its products has provided me with deeper insights into how and why things were developed. I’m not sure I would have gained these insights in a more formal setting. Much can be learned from casual conversations rather than strictly focused discussions.”

3. Personal connections

Eduard emphasized the significance of personal connections: “It allowed us to work closely and also to communicate with team members outside of working hours to build better relationships and get to know each other a little bit more. I think all of this is important for a successful developers’ team.” 

Jakub agrees, adding, “It’s extremely helpful to know the people you work with in person.” In Radu Constantin‘s opinion, “These types of connections cannot be created through online calls.”

Grzegorz Wierzba, on the other hand, felt that meeting in person had humanized him in the eyes of his colleagues, stating, “I think people know me better now, will not be afraid of me anymore, and understand our inside jokes.”

Ending off with a nice team dinner

Future Gatherings and Aspirations

The meet-up wasn’t just a pause from the usual work routine; it was a reminder of the importance of camaraderie and collaboration. 

While the team returned to their respective homes with cherished memories, they also came back with a unanimous desire: to have more such gatherings that celebrate their unity in diversity.

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