Archive for September, 2010

L’viv, Ukraine near-shore operation visit

September 4, 2010

I recently flew to Lviv in the Ukraine to investigate a near-shore operation. It was an eventful trip!

There are no direct flights to Lviv so we had to change in Vienna. We almost missed our connecting flight in Vienna as the flight was late leaving London Heathrow. They actually held the connecting flight for us. We had to avoid getting involved in an argument on the bus from the terminal to the plane in Vienna. An old Australian man was being bossed around by his children (adults in their late thirties) and was sick and tired of it. He got to his feet and leant over his son or son in law and said “if you don’t shut up I’m gonna plant one on you!”. He had to be restrained by his daughters. We arrived at what can only be described as a very small, old airport. We had to endure the car journey through the back breaking stone streets to get to and from the operation.

The operation was housed in an old military building. Despite it no longer being used by the military the guard inside the building was wearing a military camouflage uniform.

We toured the operation and spent the remainder of the working day receiving presentations from the company and its staff.

We had dinner at a themed restaurant. It was designed to look like you were entering a small, old communist era flat. A man in the flat greeted you as if it were his flat and you had to tell him you knew there was a restaurant hidden out the back. The restaurant and food were to a high standard. The cured pork fat on bread, whilst it didn’t sound appetising, was actually very good. The local vodka was also excellent. After dinner we toured the old part of the city and stopped for a drink at an open air restaurant.

The following day we interviewed as many of the staff as we possibly could in the time we had remaining.

On the way back we arrived at the airport to find that our flight had been cancelled. We were given no reason and despite it being early afternoon there were no flights direct or connecting that could get us back to London that day no matter which country we flew via. We ended up checking into a hotel which had recently been converted from an fort into a hotel. The hotel was excellent as was its restaurant on the top floor overlooking the city from on top of the hill. We eventually flew back to London via Kiev. We arrived back safely albeit a day late.

The weather in Lviv was very hot. Lviv as a city is very old and therefore historical and probably ideal for a long weekend break. The near-shore operation seemed to be of a high quality. The people I met and interviewed spoke very good English and were technically competent. I would like to thank everybody for their time and in particular Ivan who looked after us whilst we were there.

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Group CTO, The Digital Property Group

September 1, 2010

I started as Group CTO at the Digital Property Group today.