We started a little late in the morning at around 10 am after a late breakfast. We had a brief introduction to the Global Day of Coderetreat, and a demo of what the application does.
If you aren’t familiar yet, coderetreats are day-long, intensive practice events on the fundamentals of software development and design. The day is split into one hour sessions where people try to work on the same problem, Conway’s Game of Life, and then do a short retrospective. But it isn’t about solving the problem and coming up with a production ready application. Conway’s Game of Life is merely used to learn other things. One hour isn’t enough to finish the problem, and that’s by design. The thought process that goes into writing the tests, the solution, and the discussions between pairs are more important.
We then split into two groups for our first session.
Jon Limjap gave the TDD primer with another one of the katas we’ve tried before, the String Calculator.
The other group dived straight in and went into pairing!
After 45 minutes we went and had our first retro. Ealden facilitated our ceremonies for the day.
The TDD primer group were ready to give it a go. We reshuffled pairs and started the next session!
We also had a pleasant surprise with another Coderetreat facilitator from abroad who helped us out with organizing. Thanks Junilu! He even joined us for the second session with a remote pairing.
Speaking of the “global” nature of the Coderetreat, we had a window to the other groups in the region and had short meets and greets with other devs from Melbourne, China, and Vietnam.
We kind of cheated in the second session and extended for a half hour with the food arriving late. Lunch was pizzas and chicken. Lunch was a good time for conversations too: getting to know each other and thinking about how the past sessions went.
And then we were up to our last round. Instead of two more 1-hour sessions (which we didn’t have time for anymore), we just went with another 75 minute one. We reshuffled groups again and people went about in their own pairs.
We started to wrap up at 3:45 pm with a retro, starting with a one-word summary from every participant of how they felt the day went. And then another round for an opportunity to thank anyone in the room for anything they would like to show appreciation for.
It was a really great group to have worked with, every single one who participated. Everyone was willing to expand their horizons, get new perspectives, and take on the challenges of learning. There were pairs who only ended up writing a single or two tests, but they took much away just from the discussions on the value of the tests they were writing or have written. A few tried languages that were completely foreign to them and took the challenge, and even paired in languages that weren’t in their comfort zones and learned a thing or two about it. In most cases TDD was a common thread, but GDCR does lend emphasis to it.
Overall, it was a great first GDCR experience for us and we’re excited to join or host another one if we get the opportunity to next year! Thanks again to PageUp for hosting, and for Emapta’s support with the venue If you are interested in Software Engineering and Software Craftsmanship and would like to join us in Manila, we’re hosting our monthly meetup, usually at the 3rd week of every month.
Check us out online at:
- FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/softwarecraftersph
- FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/softwarecraftersmanila/
- Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/Software-Crafters-Manila