We are planning a JS CodeRetreat for February 8th (ah, btw, if interested, here’s the link to the website: jscoderetreat.com), and I, of course, wanted to lend a hand in the organization. The question was: how could I help if I didn’t understand at all what it was about?
For this reason, some days ago my boss (-sorry Wolfram for calling you “boss”…- in the startup environment people just don’t like hierarchies and strict working structures) decided to devote a couple of days just explaining me what’s the event about.
One of the most interesting things is that the JS CodeRetreat is going to take place in different cities at the same time: Munich, Dublin, Valencia and Madrid are for sure, but there is still place for anyone else to join!
What’s a CodeRetreat?
A CodeRetreat is an event that always takes place in a similar way (thanks Corey Haines!). As written in the official CodeRetreat website (www.coderetreat.org), a Code Retreat is “a day-long, intensive practice event, focusing on the fundamentals of software development and design. By providing developers the opportunity to take part in focused practice away from the pressures of ‘getting things done’, the coderetreat format has proven itself to be a highly effective means of skill improvement”.
Basically, this event gives the opportunity to practice TDD, Clean Code and Refactoring for a whole day.
WHY ONLY JS?
Because we wanted to give all the participants the opportunity to concentrate even more on the craftsmanship and even more on one language, in order to dive even deeper and find out more about how to become better.
We decided to split our event in 5 sessions, in which attendees will work on the same problem over and over again, but using different constraints in every session.
In each session people will pair with a different programmer to maximize the knowledge transfer. The most interesting thing is that after each session all the code that has been written so far is deleted. This gives to all the participants the chance in the next session to all start over again without being constrained by any design decisions they made in the previous one.
The combination of pair programming with the focus on writing perfect code instead of solving the problem gives a unique opportunity to improve the attendees skills.
SOUNDS INTERESTING, RIGHT?
Before speaking to my boss, I had never heard of such an event. I was (actually, I am!) very interested in all this coding world, but I have no clue on how it all works… so how could I help?
Well, organizing an event requires a lot of time and effort, both aspects that don’t require a specific knowledge of computer programming (thank goodness).
The hardest thing to face is that we still have our regular work to do, therefore, to better organize the event, we have to organize our time first.
In the following pages, I’ll keep you updated with our progress in organizing the JS CodeRetreat, hoping that our experience could be of help to some of you.