The first Global Day of Coderetreat is now over. It was a really exciting and exhausting experience.
Fourteen attendees racked their brains over Conway’s game of life and how to implement it best. I wanna thank everyone for keeping focused, although it was a hard, on a Saturday and many of you had had a hard week.
Doing pairprogramming, these guys fought themselves through six programming sessions, deleting their code after each (although that was hard for some of them) and starting from scratch in the next one, mastering harder and harder challenges.
Traditionally the first session was just an introduction to the problem.
From the second session on, we started to impose challenges to the newly formed pairs. However, as the experience level of the developers varied a lot, we chose not to fix the set of challenges for each session, as it is usually done during coderetreats. Rather, we proposed them suitable challenges and let them decide themselves, which issue they wanted to master next.
So we had several pairs doing basic ones such as “navigator driver” and others mastering more sophisticated approaches, such as not being allowed using the mouse during a session to get to know the shortcuts of their IDEs or applying “ping-pong” pairing to improve their TDD skills.
The only challenge that all pairs had in common during day was the goal to satisfy the four rules of simple design and focusing on verb-based rather than noun-based design. The latter proved to be one of the hardest, as we all tend to get lost in thinking about the data structures (nouns) instead of the behaviors (verbs) of the system. Concerning this matter, for some of us the day was even an eye-opener.
What I liked most was the fact, that you guys used many programming languages and were totally willing to pair with someone even using some language you didn’t know, which is unfortunately not the general case!
I wanna thank you all for making that event such a memorable one, and I hope to see some of you again … see you, when we do our next code retreat!