In addition to our professional work, we also like to celebrate holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, successful project completions, and sometimes just reconnecting with one another outside of the office. Occasionally, we travel abroad to work on-site and enjoy the stimulation that a change in environment brings.
Pneuma Software headquarters
The year 2020 has been a challenging one for everyone, including Pneuma. But we kept up our professionalism, our spirit, as well as our world exploration.
In July 2020, we made Turkish coffee and learned how to be a fortune-teller. We tried to describe our partner’s past, present and future from the Turkish coffee grounds. It was fun for us to make jokes while having coffee. — By Leo
On the 24th of July, we became one-time amateur Turkish Coffee Fortune-Tellers. We tried to describe our partner’s emotions and situations from the coffee ground patterns in their cup. And we tried to give suggestions to our partner. For example, my partner saw an egg, a strong and tanned dinosaur, and a tall giraffe in my coffee grounds (see photo). She interpreted that I might have been a little vulnerable in the past, I should be careful of sunburn in the present, and will have a long and healthy life in the future. It was a very nice and interesting experience for me to have my fortunes read and be a fortune-teller. — By Evan
Shapes in the Coffee Grounds
An egg, a strong and tanned dinosaur, and a tall giraffe
In 2020, we learned how to make Turkish coffee and use coffee grounds for fortune-telling. After that I went to a Turkish cafe trying to do fortune-telling with my friends, but I had too much coffee grounds and it covered the entire plate, so I was not able to read anything from it. — By Your friendly neighborhood Jennifer
Our fortune teller with Cezve
English, like waffles, went through many changes as it came into contact with different people and cultures over time. The biggest difference is, of course, waffles are edible and delicious (and most people like waffles).
In the heat of August 2020, we made different types of waffles and were looking forward to developing a lighter, more refreshing version for the summer heat.
We tried to use various recipes: blender waffles made with beer, yogurt, seltzer; Liege waffles with much smashed cube sugar (in place of pearl sugar), and (a lot of) butter. Finally, we found we loved them all, especially with the last minute bonus of vanilla ice cream on top. – By Esther
At the end of August this year, we shared our own definition of the 21st century waffles, including the naming and the reasons. Everyone seemed to agree that the most interesting waffle name was Jennifer’s. She named her waffle as “Jenniffle.” –By Ken
Different materials for Different versions
“Abracadabra” Delicious waffles are done.
Pouring the waffle batter into the waffle machine carefully
Waffle + Ice Cream = Masterpiece
A must-try combination
On the 25th of September, to celebrate the Moon Festival, we made a gluten free version of the “moon cake,” served with hummus. I had no idea what hummus was until that day. We made everything from scratch. With the leftover ingredients after the activity, we experimented and came up with five different versions of hummus, from salty to sour. I like mine on the sour side. – By Shareena
On Sep 25th, we made hummus, which contains good fatty acid. I brought one jar home. My parents liked it and we finished it within the next week. On that day, we also used very simple ingredients to make a gluten free “moon cake,” which was actually a Roti. We mixed rice flour with hot water and pan fried it without oil. The ingredients and the process are simple, but not the shaping. The taste was also simple but matched perfectly with the hummus. — By Weita
Distributing hummus to those who could not join the activity. Sharing is caring.
Carefully rolling the dough
On Nov. 27th, we ordered in Western style food to celebrate Thanksgiving. During the feast, we played “Mad Libs,” a traditional American word game. One of our colleague turned the game into a program, and we had fun playing it. — By Peggie
Cannot wait to open the boxes and enjoy the meal!
Having a pie makes a happy Thanksgiving
The day after the 4th Thursday in November, we had a Thanksgiving lunch ordered by one of our colleagues. We also wrote a program for a game that created random English sentences based on the words everyone contributed. — By Jason
The Random Sentence Program for our Thanksgiving Mad Libs
We were all presenters for the career day presentations. Every colleague shared something about his/her job. We had to make our words simple because the intended audience were students. The most interesting part during Q&A time was seeing how our colleagues were good at pretending to be kids. — By Sandy
At the end of November, we practiced how to introduce our jobs to kids and teens. By doing this, we needed to use our imagination and enumerate a few simple examples for the audience to get our point more easily. It was a good practice for us to understand how to convey the technical information in a simple way. — By Joy
Pneuma takes a lot of pride in our ability to work as a team, and our annual Christmas party is no exception.
The potluck turned out to be a huge feast, served in three rounds, complete with our exciting, laughter-filled (and character-revealing) foosball tournament, where results were displayed on a Christmas-themed score-keeping App written in-house.
In keeping with our Christmas gift-exchange tradition and the spirit of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” everyone was asked to bring a “used but useful” gift and justify why the item they were giving away was worthy.
Our Christmas-themed score keeping App
Everyone’s contribution to the feast
Working together and being competitive at the same time
Very appropriate gifts for 2020
Shortly after the season of thanks-giving, it was time for the Pneuma team to say goodbye to 2019.
To be environment-friendly, we had a White Elephant Gift-Exchange Party, using items no longer needed at home. But that was not all. We aggresively enthusiastically described and explained how the gift was a good choice!!
As always, we had an end-of-the-year party before the Chinese New Year. This year, we enjoyed an afternoon tea buffet at the Regent Taipei Hotel. With smiles and laughter, we said our last goodbye to 2019 and welcomed 2020 together.
And the lucky winner of our top end-of-the-year prize? Very appropriately, it was the new father who could really use the extra cash!
November is the season to give thanks, and the Pneuma Team got into the spirit with a series of activities.
We had a gathering to experience a Thanksgiving meal together with visiting clients from the US, who shared their festival experiences and stories.
We also created a wall to post THANK YOU messages for one another and made treats with leftover Thanksgiving ingredients. They actually tasted pretty good!!
After our exciting open-sea experience whale-watching around Guishan Island in April, the Pneuma Team chose to take a slower, more relaxing stroll on solid ground with our client from Minnesota on Nov. 1st. We visited Dadaocheng, one of the most famous places in Taipei.
*Taking a stroll through the alleys to look back at Dadaocheng’s history*
We walked down a street with traditional shops, posed with the statue of a famous Taiwanese songwriter, and learned about Traditional Taiwanese buildings.
After tasting the “creative” Taiwanese cuisine, we helped one another make traditional Taiwanese pastry, and tried screen printing with lots of laughter.
Time to get up and get out of the office for some fresh air, greeneries, and most certainly, good food!
We got together to feel thankful for what we had, and most importantly, for fun and food, with the help of conversation starter questions on the table. We may look like computer geeks in the photos, but once you get to know us, you will see that we actually also know how to have fun! Here’s a brief recap from those conversation starter questions. Happy Thanksgiving!
“What is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done that actually turned out pretty good?”
The #1 answer: “Getting married!”.
“If you could time travel, which era would you go back to?”
Best answer of the day: “Go back to the time before I was married.”
(Ufdah it’s cold!) Don’t forget to bring a coat, ski mask and mittens – just in case.
We had an amazing time visiting our client, Equus Compute Solutions, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, meeting their IT team of professional and culturally-diverse members. They were very warm and hospitable, and took us to lunch at a very charming and distinctive Italian restaurant. We shared a huge bowl of lettuce salad and oversized pasta dishes together. We very much enjoyed the delicious food and the very cool happy hour.