Category Archives: Coderetreat

The Coderetreat Book

The Coderetreat Book

About

A couple of weeks ago I published the Coderetreat book together with Alex Bolboacă. The book is about how to facilitate and host a coderetreat event.

front-cover

Contents

It contains plenty of ideas and advice from both of us, based on our experiences of organizing, hosting and facilitating many coderetreats the least 7 years. The book contains specific advice on how to host and facilitate. Also a list of sessions is available in the book. Each session is documented in detail.

This is the first edition of the book, and we launched it now especially for the Global Day of Coderetreat (GDCR) 2016. We hope this book will help hosts and facilitators have wonderful events around the globe during GDCR.

Feedback wanted please

We plan to enhance the book with more chapters and more sessions. For now just enjoy the book and we hope we will receive plenty of feedback from you. We want the book to help you if you are organizing, hosting or facilitating a Coderetreat. Please tell us if it helped you, or how we could improve it for you. Thank you!

Programming by Wishful Thinking

Coderetreat: Programming by Wishful Thinking

Blog post series

This blog post is part of a series about coderetreat sessions.

Purpose

This session introduces the concept of top-down approach of Test Driven Development for a new feature.
By following the steps you will be able to understand how to add thin top-down features that you can show very fast to your customers. Many of the features will work, even though you will not have a fully functional system, just because you have used stubs or fakes for the parts of the system that are not yet implemented.

Programming by Wishful Thinking

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Coderetreat: The toughest constraint

Coderetreat: The toughest constraint

Ask the attendees what they want

During the Global Day of Coderetreat 2014 (GDCR) I facilitated the event in Turku, Finland. That is when I presented the toughest constraint ever in any coderetreats I facilitated until now.

Since I have a lot of constraints in the list, some time ago I started to ask the attendees how difficult would they want the constraints to be. I am asking them on scale from 1 to 5, 1 being boring, and 5 being extremely difficult, what would they want to do as difficulty.

Another thing I’m doing, stealing the idea from Alex, is to ask the attendees of the coderetreat about the expectations they have. They write one expectation on a sticky note and we look at them and they choose what they want to practice. I tell them about constraints that will generate the kind of learning they want.

Usually during coderetreats the attendees want constraints of the difficulty between 2 and 3. Probably because 1 seems boring and 5 seems scary.

The constraint

Now it was different. They wanted the scary constraints. And they insisted. So here is the constraint.

universe-with-wormholes
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Kudos for the Global Day of Coderetreat 2012

Global Day of Coderetreat 2012

As last year I helped the coderetreat first-time facilitators to jump-in and organize their first coderetreat. I had some training sessions on Google Hangout during which I talked with a lot of passionate professionals from all over the world. Together with me Jim Hurne had done the same effort to spread his knowledge about the way he facilitates a coderetreat.

Jim has done a lot of work for the Global Day, he added the sessions on the coderetreat.org website created, the hangouts for all the registered attendees for each session, and a lot of other very useful things. He was full of energy and I want to thank him for all that effort, I don’t think the Global Day would have been that successful without his sustained effort.

I chose to go to Cluj-Napoca to facilitate the coderetreat on the Global Day. I had talked with the Cloud Troopers company about hosting a community event, and this was the time. They were kind enough to sponsor also the lunch. Out host was Georgiana Gligor, and she was very keen to see what a coderetreat is all about.

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Balkan Coderetreat, the first edition in Sofia

Balkan Coderetreat in Sofia

A couple of months ago I contacted Stefan Kanev to ask him if I could attend a coderetreat in Sofia. My main concern was not to bother all the attendees to speak English just because of me. What happened was that instead of attending a coderetreat I ended up facilitating a coderetreat in Sofia, and a rather special one.

Then I started chatting with Stefan and we ended up with the concept of Balkan Coderetreat. We want to create a type of event that will be organized in different countries in the Balkans. Why? Because there are not enough events for programmers around here. And one more reason: people from different countries and cultures would meet and share their knowledge and ideas. This idea is in the spirit of the ALE Network which I support as much as I can by being a bumble-bee, cross-pollinating ideas in the local European communities of Software Development. I would like to see this event happening in one of the Balkan countries each 2-3 months, organized each time by someone else. This would be in the spirit of a community of professionals that care about what they do and about sharing and learning, cross-language, cross-cultural and cross-border. I intend to support this event being organized again in a different country sometime in January.

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Coderetreat Turku, Finland

Coderetreat Turku, Finland

On 20 November Aki Salmi gave me the the opportunity to meet a wonderful group of passionate programmers in Turku, Finland. My friend and dynamic facilitator Erik Talboom was supposed to be there with us, but he could not make it this time. So I was on my own to facilitate a coderetreat in a country and a city I have never seen before.

The first surprise of the morning: almost everyone was at the venue at 8:45 when I arrived. “They must be eager to code”, I said to myself. But we waited a bit to make sure that everyone will arrive in time for the intro. And I took the time to enjoy the unusual cubical separators of the venue: hay stacks 🙂

Coderetreat Turku

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