TLDR

Coderetreat Zagreb was great. If you were not there, come the next time.

Moar details

There is a lot of things that I would like to write about the event, but as always, the time I have for this blog post is limited. Also, I would like to write enough about it to make the readers interested in attending, without giving away a few surprises.

We have started the day with breakfast and coffee. Péter gave a short introduction, we have formed pairs and started coding. All code is written test first and in pairs. Pairs change for each session. A few participants had to leave early, so the last couple of sessions we have formed one group of three people.

Every session lasted for 45 minutes. After each session, we have formed a circle and had a retrospective. Each time, we were solving the same problem, but every time with a different constraint. The first time there were no additional constraints, just figuring out how to start solving the problem test first was enough. Without giving away too much, one constraint was only four minutes to make a commit. If the time is up, and the commit is not made, delete all changes since the last commit and start over.

My pair and me could not make a commit in 30 or so minutes. We were running out of time, every time. Péter suggested picking a smaller problem. Putting both the test and the code in the same file saved us some time. With some other simplifications, we managed to make a commit in under four minutes. Then Péter suggested to try making a commit in under two minutes. It was so much fun, I have even forgot if we managed to do it or not.

After three pairing sessions we had lunch break. Aljoša brough some tasty food. After lunch we had three more pairing sessions. After all that coding, a few of us went for a beer in a nearby brewpub.

Out of 6 pairing sessions I have participated in, 5 of them were in Ruby, without me asking for it. One was in JavaScript, and I found it hard to participate since I did not know the language. I could understand what the code was doing, but the details were lost, and the details were important.

What went well?

Venue was great, food was good. The number or participants was just right, 10-15. Some of them came late, some left early. A few more participants would probably not hurt, but the event should not be bigger than 20-30. Péter, the facilitator of the event, was really good. I did not know that the facilitator had such an important role.

Lessons learned

  • A lot of people use the setup similar to what I am playing with recently, tmux and vim.
  • It is sometimes scary to write code in front of the people you do not know.
  • It is a lot of fun writing code with people you do not know.
  • It is a lot of fun writing code test first.
  • The event was almost canceled because I made a mistake of starting to promote the event too late. The next time, start earlier.

Aha moment

Even very simple problems could be made simpler.

Stay in touch

Would you like to participate in, or help organize the next Coderetreat Zagreb?

Thank you

The event would not happen if we did not have a lot of help.

Misc