Our second round of product planning took place at Amdocs HQ in Tel Aviv between May 11-15. over 150 projects were presented by product managers from all parts of the company: Billing, CRM, Service Management, Content, Foundations... some were great, some were not so great (as these things probably always go).
It was pretty intense, but I had a lot of fun, and continue to meet some great people in this company. I've often wondered why I've stayed with DOX for so long, but I guess being able to interact with people from a wide span of cultures, travel to countries that I would never have thought I'd go to (Israel was not on the top of my list), is actually fun.
Some would say that I could have done this while remaining a contractor, that I'd have more independence, etc. Maybe so, maybe so.... but having seen both sides of the coin, I really think that if you put your mind to it, you can influence which roads open up to you, which doors open, and which ones shut, whether you are a permanent employee of a relatively large company or whether you are a freelancer.
We also got the chance to have what the Israelis call a Kumzit. I am told that this is Yiddish for "Come, sit... and let's all sing together". Traditionally, Kumzit's are an ancient jewish tradition, where folks gather around a campfire, eat bread and hummus (and probably other stuff, like tahini, olives, and other mediterrenean fare), drink, sing songs in an open meadow. This is pretty much what we did, minus the singing. Somehow, we never actually got to the state where we would start to sing and stuff. Maybe we weren't drinking enough ??
In any case, it was actually one of the better corporate events I've been to, and was a good way to bond with our Israeli counterparts.
That's all for now,