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Synthdaddi 2024: In which we exist in one place for a week or so

Namely, Stephen and Kris’s house.

Many of you know that we are a fully remote company. A few of us are here in LA (although Markus is about 20 miles from NE HQ so they may as well be in another state). Each of us look forward to this week all year: it’s a week to nerd out hardcore, plan, eat good food, have a glass of nice wine perhaps, and also just enjoy each other’s company. I know I’m the “boss” so I’m supposed to say it but the reality is that we have built a team of people who we all want to come to work with every day, and that is a joy. But over slack and zoom, something is missing. And this week each year is our chance to grab it. 

We’ve been doing this for years now, but in recent years, our annual meetup has been dubbed “Synthdaddi” by Elana, our former Destroyer of Worlds (who is now busy making a life as a rock star. Go listen, she’s incredible.). As is now tradition, we had a logo by the multitalented Kelly Maryanski. This year, Jeff Goldblum was our extremely unofficial mascot:

A drawing of Jeff Goldblum lounging against a gigantic Cursus Iteritas Percido

We started our week on the tail of the wildly successful Buchla and Friends show hosted here in LA on Sat, Jan 27. A huge thank you to everyone who came out to the show! What a fantastic day that was. We demoed our Alia hardware, lots of other things, and gave a sneak peak at some things we have coming soon.

On Monday, Adam and Patrick arrived in Los Angeles after very long days flying from the arctic tundra of Minnesota and DC, and we had a lovely evening barely talking shop and mostly just hanging out and having a group dinner here (tacos, obviously). 

Tuesday, though, it got real.

We started each day with a walk; or that was the idea, but that went to crap various delays, injuries, and rain kind of took the wind out of our sails across the week. Tuesday morning, though, we still made it to the local park at the appointed time to see our pal Anthony for some nifty photos (fun fact: Anthony used to live two doors down from us, which is how we met him).

The Noise Engineering team sitting around a table

Photos done, dogs tired out, we headed back to our house for more coffee, banana bread, and work.

Here at Noise Engineering, our main problem tends to be time. We have so many ideas we want to try, and too little time to get it all done. So we keep a running list of the ideas and once a year, we revisit it, and make a plan for the next year.

Never once have we completely stuck to it, but it’s good to have a plan.

Each of us was assigned the task of reading through the backlog and choosing the products we wanted to advocate for. We did a fair amount of this before we got together, so once we were in the same room, we were able to just hit the ground running. As per usual, we had a lot of colorful notecards taped to the wall. We spent the day arguing about releases, release schedules, what made sense and what did not make sense, and what excited us. We plotted out 2024 and 2025 (normally we do only one year at a time). It was spirited and more involved than ever, yet somehow we got through it faster this year than we ever have. We looked around the room kind of wondering if we’d really done it.

Colorful notecards taped to a whiteboard with the writing crossed out

You didn’t think we’d give away all our plans, did you? 

We also spent time planning lots of other fun things (and not so fun things like process documentation). There was a Perfect Circuit run. We cooked a ton of food (Stephen and I had leftovers for days). When I say that we are excited about the year(s) ahead of us, it’s an understatement. Synthdaddi is always fun and always inspiring, but I honestly can’t remember a year when I walked away this excited to get to work. Stay tuned: we have so much coming.

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