“Knowledge sharing”: even though I’m getting used to this mindset, this is something that still surprises me quite a lot.
Our JS CodeRetreat was all about sharing: we shared our TDD knowledge, giving you all the chance to attend a free course for an entire day, and you shared your experience and much more during the retrospective moments.
The aim of this blogpost is, again, to share all the opinions, emotions, information and tools collected during the event.
MY PERSONAL OPINION?
Yes, I think it’s right to put my personal opinion before the paragraph regarding the actual learnings you gained. I’m not self-centered, the fact is that the “human touch” really was an important aspect of our JS CodeRetreat, and it would be a shame not to talk about it. I learned a lot, but nothing regarding coding. As I mentioned you all at the beginning, “I’m Irene, I work at Uxebu, and I don’t know how to code”. Despite this, the JS CodeRetreat was a very formative and enjoyable experience for me too! I really think that this event gave a lot to everyone, and not only relating to coding improvements (although I have LOTS of material confirming that you were quite pleased with your coding learnings too… but let’s wait for the next paragraph for this!).
Many people and their reactions gave me positive feelings. Just to give a couple of samples, Francis, this amazing guy from San Francisco/ Spain/ Philippine/ wherever: crazy, both in clothing and in the approach really a happy guy, was able to give a “personal touch” in each retrospective. Was a pleasure to meet such a positive person! And Georg… I know him quite well, but this time he also made his contribution to the human side of the event, by asking to many people suggestions for his bachelor’s thesis (regarding TDD, obviously :)).
Another person who has left a mark? Irishka, and not only because we have the same beautiful name :). She was the only woman at the event. She is a young mother-programmer, the first one I met up to now (actually, she is the first female-developer I ever met at all!!). A very nice and spontaneous girl, always smiley and kind. It’s a mystery how someone so calm can also be a programmer I could keep on saying something about each of you, but I’ll continue just boring myself writing about you in my personal diary ;). A special thanks goes to the guys that stayed there helping in cleaning and tidying up. Not only for the cleaning part, but especially for the great night we enjoyed all together! An unexpected but really fun evening, I also learned a lot about vegans: I’ll never be vegan, that’s for sure, but it still was a very interesting conversation.
About the organisation, I was quite proud of it, except for the pizza delivery… no more ordering from Pizza Mamma Mia (come on fellows! More than 1h delay in pizza delivery is unbelievable). Sure, there still are lots of things we could improve, as buying Club Mate for everyone (in my opinion, the least attractive drink in the world, but you all love it so much!! Next time you’ll have it, I swear :)). People want it so much, a guy also brought his own… we definitely need to provide that next time. And what about Haribo? I think that Haribo tastes even worse than Club Mate… but you were all eating them, you finished almost 2 giant boxes! On the one hand I don’t understand you, on the other hand I admire you: programmers sometimes are a group so different from all the other human beings, but in their diversity they are all quite similar, and a proof is that they all have the same ugly tastes but don’t worry, I’m learning your tastes, and we’ll provide everything for the next event (10th of May!).
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
A lot. Thanks to you and to your countless post-it pasted all over the wall. The event was divided into 5 sessions, and after each session we had a retrospective moment, during which each of you shared his own opinions, ideas and possible improvements of the just ended session. We collected all of them, and after reading them we were even more proud of our event: you were all so pleased!! Thank you (but, I have to say, for a -short- while I haven’t considered you nice people: summing up your post-it was absolutely nerve wracking. Next time only CAP letters, please!! :D)
Anyway, I could briefly summarize your comments, dividing them into opinions, remarks and outbursts (due to the lack of space I’ll not list every single post-it… too many :))
At the end of the day you all suggested lots of
. Here’s the list!
• Codewars.com (not a tool but worth it)
• iTerm 2 (Terminal replacement for Mac OS X)
• Currently (Google Chrome extension for weather)
• Codeclimate for codestats
• Unix Command (grep -rn “search term” directory/from/here)
CAN WE IMPROVE?
Sure! It’s always possible to improve. It’s clear, we were all very happy about everything, but mostly because it was our first JS CodeRetreat. Over time it will improve more and more, both in the content and in the organisational point of view. We had various improvement suggestions, for example the (too) long closing moment, the starting time (this is something that really tormented your souls next time we’ll think of a possible solution!), or the lack of cigarette breaks… all issues that we’ll keep in mind for the future improvements!
Other suggestions were to provide international keyboards (why didn’t we think about it? You’re so right!!), make the first session with “no conditions AT ALL” (true), and finally make videos of the retrospective moments… actually, I don’t say anything to avoid bad luck, but maybe for the next event we’ll have a surprise about the video equipment we’ll see, stay tuned! We have many further ideas of how to improve and become better and better, but if you want to suggest us something else, just leave a comment, a tweet, or whatever you prefer