Building the Death Star on company time
A few weeks ago the team at SkyScanner  contacted me to say they were building the Death Star as a team building exercise and would I like to see and share the video they've made of the build.
I suspect many of you reading have already built it yourself, given it's been available for 5 years now, but nevertheless I thought it might be fun to post it here, if only to watch how non-AFOLs approached the task:
Matthew, the, er, 'project manager' wrote this about the experience:
"A few months ago, one of our chiefs asked via our internal communications channel if we’d like to build the Death Star. For four lucky Skyscanner employees, it was the chance to re-live some of our days as kids.
"Upon arrival of the new Lego kit, we instantly took to the first open pod in the canteen – think kid hoarding new toy at Christmas. Once the box was opened, we realized we had ourselves a legitimate problem: multiple boxes. After further discovering each box had hundreds and hundreds of pieces, we initially felt overwhelmed. Then again, the engineers and developers assured us all that there would be a methodical and pragmatic approach to building this monstrosity.
"First, we figured that stealing an entire bench and table at the canteen wasn’t really going to win us any friends. Okay, back to the pod. Wait, there are FIVE of us. How would we fit? Insert temporary booster seat at the edge. Then, packaging from the first box starts tearing open (ending up on the table or floor) and eventually we realized that it did in fact look like a Christmas day disaster. To help, we stole (borrowed) a few bowls out of the kitchen and began sorting them. Uh-oh, lunch is now over and we had a quick think about moving forward. Since taking a conference room wasn’t conducive to a growing company’s plans, we all agreed to slim down the building to two or three at a time and take a crack at it daily. We even developed a communication method intended to inform the next group of our stopping point: a lego man with pieces in the bowl and bending a page back. Easy enough, right?
"Over the next four weeks, Andrew, Mike, Hugh, and I worked over 32 hours to complete this absolute gem of a set. We did find problems differentiating the colours of the pieces and the methods our team used might have been expedited had we not over analysed. As individuals, we’ve all built sets as kids and as adults. In fact, two of our guys ran into each other at a nearby department store looking at Lego sets – one buying and the other looking.
"The four of us haven’t yet determined our next project, but odds are, it’ll be slightly more travel-related and will need to include more co-workers – since many wanted to help! Lego, if you’re listening, a skip full of bricks to make something epic would be greatly appreciated, ha! "
There's more on the SkyScanner blog.
If only all companies let their employees do such cool exercises, eh?!
Let us (and Matt) what you thought of their efforts in the comments. When you build something that large, do you sort all the parts first to that degree?
 SkyScanner looks to be a pretty good flight finding and price comparison site which has several useful features I haven't seen before. I'm not affiliated to them: I'd never heard of them until now!