I've just come back from Bangalore, India where I spent two weeks with intense learning, much socializing and incredible amounts of fun. In short, I've attended ThoughtWorks Immersion. I found it to be a singular experience, and something that will be immensely helpful during my career at ThoughtWorks.
So what is Immersion? Basically, it's two weeks of learning that all ThoughtWorkers go through. The aim is not really to teach technical concepts or specific ways of working, but more to establish a common vocabulary, get everyone to understand the history of ThoughtWorks, and also give insight into all parts of the organization. How everything works and how we do things. A large part also is about what makes ThoughtWorks different from other companies, both in the way we do things but also the why of it all. The values TWers should share and what makes TW a unique place to work.
I feel I've learned incredibly much. The two weeks away from regular work was hard but definitely worth it. I wish all companies had something like this - but I guess that this is one of the ways that make TW a very different place.
The learning side was important, but the social aspect probably even more so. I now have 13 new friends within ThoughtWorks, spread all over the world. We had a good time together. Also, Bill Kimmel and Naresh Jain turned out to be outstanding teachers and very nice people to boot.
Of course, the stay in Bangalore got even more productive when Roy Singham, Chad Wathington, Cyndi Mitchell and a few other people arrived there. I spent some time with them, planning and scheming.
Meeting Håkan Råberg and seeing the cool stuff he's working on (still secret) was also very nice.
All in all, two weeks well spent.