Saturday, December 14, 2013

Programmer's Diary: Global Day of Code Retreat Retrospective

This year, 2013, I was the one organizing the Global Day of Code Retreat event in Timisoara, Romania. It was an amazing day and this is a small article to show everyone how I perceived the event.

First the Bad Things
  1. I felt quite under pressure, especially at the beginning, so many things to think about...
  2. We almost remained without food ... I forgot to order it in time. Crazy!
  3. There were less then expected people :(
Now the Good Things:
  1. I learned a great deal about facilitating and organizing events.
  2. The event went well, we managed to ditch all obstacles.
  3. I was amazed how well some participants perceived the event.

And now let's talk about what actually happened throughout the day. I planned for 6 sessions, we managed to do 5. I thought there will be quite a few people familiar with TDD, there were probably 1-2. But that is not important, we felt good, programmed and learned a lot.

Below are some of the most memorable quotes from attendees, told at the closing circle. I am proud of each of them, and I am proud I could help them open their minds to new concepts and ideas.

What did you learn today?

"There are different, successful ways to write software."
"It was the first time I actually did TDD so I learned quite lot about the process itself."
"Maybe we should think about more designing tests and less about designing code."

What surprised you the most today?

"I could write working code without the debugger."
"In the last session I felt my mind blowing. I managed to finally think about tests without thinking about all the production code's design. It was amazing."

What will you do differently next time?

"I will start reading some books."
"I will start learning other programming languages to understand the philosophy behind their culture."
"I will try to write more often tests before code and not after."
"I will try out some coding katas."
"I will try to take baby steps and let my tests guide my design."
"I will research a good testing framework for .NET."

*quotes are approximate

I am proud I could today facilitate an event where programmers had the opportunity to learn and they took it and learned great things. I was surprised and pleased by their dedication and openness and they also started quite interesting discussions which led to short brainstorming mini-sessions.

Total headcount:
~7 people from Serbia
~7 people from Timisoara

~7 kids from Coder Dojo (thank you for joining us, it was great)

   2 people from Macedonia
   1 person from Germany
+ 3 organizers and facilitators

I am happy I've met you. See you next year!