So, the Jump In! Camp is over, and as many of you probably expected - there were no blog posts! The camp was a huge success for TangoCMS, as well as for the other projects taking part. We were all incredibly busy - each day had about 14 or 15 hours of work and play planned out for us - leaving just enough time for me to upload a few photos and not much more! So, consequently, blogging has had to wait.
The first day of the camp began at about 2:20am UTC for me, giving me just enough time to pack the last few things and get to the airport to meet Alex and James. After a quick trip to a cafe, we went and checked in etc, and after a wander round duty free jumped on plane number 1.
TangoCMS at Redmond. Left to right: Robert Clipsham (myself), Alex Cartwright and James Stephenson. Just as I dropped my smile too! I believe one of the others has a smile on, haven't seen it yet though.
The flight to Amsterdam was quite possibly the quickest and least painful flight I've been on - about 50 minutes long, and we got a meal, so it was over in no time. I also recall the air hostesses were wearing a really exciting shade of blue... Dunno if that was just because I was tired though. And now for the fun bit!My first flight outside of Europe was about to begin! After a quick transfer it was time to head through security again. This was possibly the most unusual experience I'd had going through security - you pretty much just walk through when flying in and around Europe, when travelling into the states you get a couple of questions about why you're going though etc. This didn't take long, and we were soon through to the waiting area. Perhaps we shouldn't have been so eager to get through security - there was nothing to do here. We managed to find a wireless connection, we couldn't get online though, I forget the reason... So we sat around sleep talking for an hour or two until we were ready for boarding.
Boarded! We were on the plane, ready to begin the 10 hour flight. I had planned to watch Star Trek for most of these hours, however I spotted a couple of films I wanted to watch, and meals kept appearing when I wasn't watching films, so I think I only managed to get one or two episodes watched. Film wise, I think I watched Despicable Me, Knight and Day, and one other - can't remember which, and Delta's website only has a partial list.
Just after landing was by far the most stressful part of the trip, going through security in the US - not a fun experience if you've never done it before and are onto your 16th hour after about two or three hours sleep. I guess it's not stressful for most, but when the TSA doesn't believe your reason for being there and you get red carded and left in a room full of men with guns, and a selection of people from all over the world sat in silence until they can devote some resources to checking your story. Let me explain. We went through the standard security procedures - finger prints, retinal scans, do you have documents to prove you're authorised to enter the US (a visa or esta), why are you here, etc... And we fell at the last hurdle. Unknown to me and my comrades, apparently you're required to bring proof for your travel to the states - something we didn't have with us. Apparently just printing off the email would be enough... Quite how having an email that could easily be forged is different to not having one is beyond me, apparently that would have been enough though. In order to get through we got asked a selection of questions, I believe James had it worst though, as he went first - I believe he ended up pointing them to the website and telling them things he couldn't possibly know without being involved. Alex and I only needed to confirm that it seems.
After they finally let us in (after about 45 minutes of queueing/sitting/questioning), we went to grab our bags and run to catch the shuttle - fortunately we didn't miss it, seems others joining us on the shuttle were slightly delayed too, and the shuttle wasn't going to leave without all of us. A 40 minute trip later and we were at our luxurious accommodation - the photos on the site really don't do it justice!
We had about an hour left before the day began (that is, everyone had finished arriving from wherever they were previously in the world), in which I went and settled into my room. The room was incredible, far nicer than the image I've put below - far bigger, and also back to front. Not pictured is the massive en-suite, which included a bath tub big enough for at least 2.5 people to sit in comfortably, a walk in shower, and the usual amenities you'd expect from a bathroom.
At this point it was 3:00pm PST (UTC-8). So in other words, my body thought it was 11:00pm, I'd been up for about 21 hours and had two or three hours sleep - I was rather tired, I'd have loved to just collapse on the three person bed in my room. But alas, downstairs I headed to go and meet the other folk joining us on the camp for the opening reception.
The reception involved a feast of popcorn, m&m's, jelly beans, other sweets, peanut butter, a selection of fruit, and a gradual stream of developers appearing, awaiting Gloria's arrival (she organised the trip). She appeared for a bit, said hi, then went off on a conference call and left us to our own accords for a bit. I'm not sure what happened between then and heading to the brewery, so I'll skip that bit.
The brewery! :D Oh. Wait. Legal drinking age in Washington is 21. Damn. Fortunately there was a buffet involving a rather large make your own burger thing, and that filled me up nicely. At that point it was about 8 or 9pm (I forget which), so after chatting with Josh and a couple of the other folk on the camp Team Tango headed back to the Lodge to get some kip (the tour involving drinking/beer tasting was about to begin - we were shattered, so this was a convenient time to drop out and catch up on some sleep).
I slept like a log that night, which was just as well given the busy week ahead. Stay tuned for the rest of the week!