Last month the Juju design team was away in Lithuania, Vilnius on a working sprint. We met up with the distributed development team to help tackle technical and design issues.

These sprints take away the barrier of time zones — which usually make it harder to ask engineers questions about features that are being designed.

13616221_10209952745325460_1919613808_o

Everyday started with a run down of the workshops and discussions that would happen on that day. This made sure everyone was aware and welcome (and very much encouraged) to join the sessions and give their valuable insight or just widen their knowledge of the product.

13589133_10209952745245458_1275611017_o

The day would then play out in an enjoyable whirlwind of knowledge, clarity and alarming amounts of progress as queries would be answered in real time without the assistance of an email client or a hangout session.

At lunch time the Juju team took the fantastic opportunity to explore the city. Walking the cobbled streets and enjoying the vast range of foods from a variety of different cultures. While we were there we ate everything from classic Lithuanian cuisine to a big shared spread of Mexican food.

13616195_10209952745285459_595293251_o

At the end of the day we would go through all of the things which were accomplished and have lightning talks (short presentations of work to the rest of the team) about the work that had been completed. This is a fantastic exercise for design as it lets us show wireframes, prototypes, research or just flat visuals for the features that are being implemented within Juju and gives the engineers a chance to see and discuss the work directly with the designers. Lightning talks are also great for engineering as they can show features that are under development or just talk through the back end of the solution.

This has been my fourth sprint with Canonical and they never cease to be valuable as they promote collaboration, forward thinking and team bonding. I look forward to the team’s next adventure and the challenges that we will conquer.