iQuest Sibiu Code Retreat - Ianuarie 2012 Aftermath

Just like we have announced two weeks ago, we have organised a unique Code Retreat at our Sibiu location. The event was coordinated by our .NET colleagues. We have talked to one of the organisers, our colleague Costin Morariu and here are some of his thoughts.

“There were around 30 programmers and the number remained constant throughout the fifth session, when two people left because they had another commitment. There were 11 persons from iQuest, the rest of the participants were external. We chose the Conway’s Game of Life problem which we have tried to solve during each session. The specific characteristic of Code Retreat to delete all of the code written was easily accepted by the participants. Programmers usually do not agree with this aspect, especially those who have participated in other Code Retreats. None of the 25 participants had ever been to a Code Retreat before.

The code was written in C#, C++, Java, Ruby, Python and PHP.

There were 5 sessions (S1 - S5) between 8:30 and 18:00, distributed as follows:

  • S1 -Pair
  • S2 -Pair, Tests
  • S3 -Pair, TDD
    • Lunch
  • S4 – Pair, TDD
  • S5 – Pair, TDD, mute

We did not insist on testing during S1 because there were around 10 persons who were not unit testing their code. We asked them to demonstrate that their code works in retrospect, but the solution was not finalised. Of course there was no way they could do that J. That is how we made the transition to testing in S2 were they were paired with others who were writing tests.

TDD was introduced in S3, and because there were only a few practitioners we kept the same format for S4.It proved to be a good choice because the interest in TDD was growing with each retrospective. As expected, there were persons who contested this practice and who were trying to find its flaws, which was great because there were some extremely interesting discussions during the retrospectives.

S5, mute coding was the „icing on the cake”. The aim was to demonstrate how important it is to write readable code and keep it clean when you take your hands off the keyboard because someone will almost always have to review the code and either add or repair something. I think it was the most successful session.

It was during this session that Cezara came to take some pictures and see how a Code Retreat takes place because she did not understand what was going on … , it can be confusing to see a horde of programmers working in pairs in the most intense silence where the only noise you could hear was the sound of keys being pressed.

There was a long retrospective at the end where each participant could talk about what they had learned and provide some feedback.

The event was successful and we can hardly wait for the next installments. You can view the photo gallery on our Facebook page.” – Costin Morariu

  • Where you among the participants?
  • Would you like to be part of such an experience?
  • We are looking forward to your opinions…