Coming from the Autobahn, the parking system already indicated what was about to come up: “Zühlke Days, park deck 2”. On leaving the elevator I was confronted with large banners stating the venue and the company logo. Below the banners I recognized many people streaming into the Congress Center building (ICS) already. I followed the stream and after I was greeted by the absolutely professionally looking organization team and meeting some of my colleagues from the Eschborn office, the crowd was already taking a seat in the main hall for the opening keynote.
On large displays I was able to follow an inspiring talk from Key note speaker Tim Lister, a seasoned industry veteran and accomplished book author, who talked about life in general and about what it means to work as an engineer. On leaving the main hall I could already feel the breeze of time flying by.
The rest of the day was filled with workshops and talks about a great variety of topics. I learned about the ideas behind the spider meeting and discussed lean BA principles. I was entertained by two colleagues who put on quite a show while explaining the concept behind story mapping. I also learned some cool (or nutty) things to experiment with and felt quite a lot like an agilist.
Lunch was neat so I was looking forward to dinner as we left the venue to take a break in the hotel. After taking a short breath I was already on my way back to the venue where I was greeted with drinks and the quest to find a place to sit down for dinner.
During dinner I enjoyed the Zingers our very own Zühlke a capella band filling the air with incredibly good singing. They were followed by two more Zühlke bands: the Dev Noerds and the IncredibleZ who all put on a great show and thereby raised the question if not some of them should become rock stars! Way to go!
On the second day I took part in the non-violent boot camp. The workshop took all day and was filled with realizations and moments of self-awareness. The host was not a professional trainer in this field, however he got across ideas very well and inspired us to keep thinking about how to incorporate non-violent communication in our professional and our private lives. The foundation of non-violent communication lies in the notions of observations, feelings, needs and requests. Especially tackling the topic of feelings in a professional environment was challenging and enlightening at the same time.
My personal wish list for the next Zühlke Days: Fewer, but more intensive workshops that allow for more focus on one topic. And, since time is always a limiting factor during conferences, I would have loved to find more time to get into deeper conversations with colleagues from other locations.
Time really flew by and by the time the lightening talks marked the end of Zühlke Days 2015 with a terrific mixture of life and technology that could not have shown the variety of people working at this company in a better way, I knew these two days weren’t just a breeze, but more of a storm filled with insights and impressions.