Facilitating a Coderetreat

Bootstrap Hero, xTuple and the 757 Creative Space

My thanks to our food sponsors xTuple and BootStrap Hero as well as to the 757 Creative Space for letting us host the event in their space. Each of these organizations are filled with awesome people and if you’re interested in getting involved in the Hampton Roads area you should check them out.

What is Coderetreat?

Coderetreat 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. Practicing the basic principles of modular and object-oriented design, developers can improve their ability to write code that minimizes the cost of change over time. – http://coderetreat.org/

Facilitating a Coderetreat

Coderetreat is so easy a caveman can do it. No seriously.

This is especially true for the Global Day of Coderetreat. Corey and Jim Hurne (a coderetreat superstar) have set it up so anyone (including people who have never come to a coderetreat) can facilitate and host one.

You get a checklist of things you need to have done by and what day. You get people willing to teach you and support you when you have questions and concerns. And even a step by step list of things you need to do the day of coderetreat.

I took advantage of all these things and the day went off without any major issues or problems.

What’s in it for me?

It was also a great opportunity to measure my skills against others. I found areas that I could improve on so I could one day explain or teach them better. The entire experience was a bit of a confidence builder because I was uncertain I could ever lead one of these events and I was surprised to find how knowledgeable I was in some of the topics we covered throughout the day.

The coolest thing though was seeing the growth and light clicking in some of the developer’s eyes as the day passed. We covered topics such as throwing away code, pairing, design and testing.

I found early on the group wasn’t familiar with TDD so I made it a goal for the day to challenge them in this aspect. There was some resistance at first but during the closing circle a lot of people mentioned how they wanted to add TDD to their workflow.

Mission accomplished!

Everyone expressed how they loved the experience and we all left the event with a number of new friends and practices to try out at work.

So what are you waiting for? No matter where you are in journey as a developer there is a ton you can pick up from attending or facilitating a coderetreat. Find one today!