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A Room with a View

I had an interesting couple of days in London last week, taking a small team of our software engineers to a “hackathon”. For those who haven’t come across the term before, Wikipedia defines a hackathon as “a design sprint-like event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, and others, often including subject-matter-experts, collaborate intensively on software projects.” I was definitely counted amongst the “others” in that definition – I’m not a softie, and the last programming language I was really proficient in was FORTRAN77.

The organisers of the event seemed to have somewhat stereotypical views about hackers, and fed us a diet of pizza, doughnuts, coffee and beer. The meeting timings were also unusual – starting mid-afternoon and continuing until 10pm. They obviously thought that hackers were nocturnal creatures by habit! But that did leave me with a bit of a dilemma. The hackathon was held in Docklands, in the shadow of Tower Bridge, and I really didn’t want to have to head across London late at night to one of the company’s preferred hotels closer to the centre.

I went into our corporate hotel booking system, without a lot of hope, and was astonished to find a hotel just five minutes walk from the event venue, that just squeezed in under the corporate price ceiling. Someone must have done some tough negotiating, as it was clearly Tourist Central. I was particularly impressed when I opened the curtains in my room and saw this:

Tower Bridge from my hotel window

And this:

Tower of London from my hotel window

It was just a pity that I was so busy working that I didn’t have much time to enjoy the views!