AgileWorks Remote Open Space – First experience

AgileWorks Remote Open Space

The idea of having a Remote Open space is simple: take 30 minutes to discuss subjects of interest to you with a group of experienced people in that area of interest. You can find the description of the idea here.

I want to try doing a couple of Remote Open Space sessions to see if we will have enough attendees to start something that is interesting, useful, and easy to organize. You just need ideas, a computer with at least a microphone and 30 minutes of your time. I saw that the Romanian AgileWorks communities are not that well connected with each other. In all the communities interesting things are happening, but they do not share their experiences with each other. So the main purpose of the AgileWorks Remote Open Space is to connect online the AgileWorks communities in Bucharest, Timisoara, Cluj, Iasi, Sibiu, and Tirgu Mures.

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Code and beer – First experience

Code and Beer

I wanted for a long time to organize a gathering of programmers where anyone can come and go whenever they please. One year ago I read about the “Code & Coffee” and the “Code & Beer” events that happen in the world, but I was more familiar with the ones in USA and UK. Because I do not drink coffee, and because it’s reaaaally hard to meet-up with someone living in Bucharest at 7:00 AM, I decided to try the “Code and Beer” experience.

The first thing I did was to ask Sandro Mancuso, the amazing force behind the London Software Craftsmanship Community, to help me a bit to organize the first Code & Beer. He gave me some good advices: give a quick intro about the group and future events,  start with quick introductions during which people say what they want to do (pet project, kata, just have a drink and decide later), ask if any one wants to give lightning talks, encourage people to pair, enjoy the evening.

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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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TDD as if you meant it, Turku, Finland

TDD as if you meant it Turku, Finland

Because of my plane connection from Bucharest to Turku which was not so great, the trip lasts around 12 hours all in all, I needed to stay from Friday to Tuesday next week in Turku. So why not trying to organize an event shorter than the coderetreat, for two hours in the evening like I did a lot of times in Bucharest. Aki was really receptive to my idea and in a matter of hours he found a host, and announced the event to the local community.

TDD as if you meant it, Turku, Finland

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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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