The long way through Software Craftsmanship

Global Day of Code Retreat 2014

Dec 18, 2014 - 3 minute read - Comments - experience-reportglobal-day-of-code-retreatgdcr

One month ago (on November 15th) I facilitated my first Global Day of Code Retreat at eBay Enterprise International and had such a blast. Link to the event (Spanish)

Some thoughts

After a month of thinking about it, here are some thoughts:

  1. This year’s GDCR was quite different that last one’s:

It’s OK: do not strive for repeating the same each year

  1. Heat map (in several dimensions): TDD x language

Usually meetups have a clear goal, for the limited amount of time they run (see another bullet point).

This single goal can span across multiple skill sets (e.g., TDD and language specific), therefore we did a two-dimensional heat map: first dimension is TDD skill level and second dimension (discreet) would be language you master

Example can be found here

  1. As a facilitator, have a clear goal for the meetup, even though you don’t need to share it with the assistants

Mine was to have fun and introduce some people to TDD

I shared the goal with the attendants because I wanted to explain the purpose of that day to newcomers.

Also, as a result of that day, I’ve discovered some very motivated people in our host (eBay). Personally, I’d like to continue doing meetups with their developers.

  1. You need a mix of more seasoned attendants and more unexperienced ones.

This way, the knowledge is being transferred both ways; not only about the language but about strategies, patterns, shortcuts & editors, languages, etc

If doing TDD in these events, it’s even more important to mix people, as it’s difficult for an unexperienced pair to start doing TDD for themselves.

  1. You should only do your job as facilitator

Let others discuss, ask and answer questions. Your job should be as thin as possible. Don’t try to answer too many questions

There will be attendants with more experience / expertise than you (most of them were in my case), so don’t strive to teach them but to manage the discussions to the right place

Be strict about timing but find the balance. Sometimes it’s useful to invest more time (~5 minutes) to a rich discussion and then reduce the next iteration.

Many people will complain about having to delete their code the first time. Explain to them that’s part of the game and don’t give in. The following iterations most of the people won’t complain anymore

Last but not least, have fun!

Some critiques

We organized the event a little bit late

  • The difference from last year (December) vs this year (November) was relevant. We were expecting to do it later so it surprised us.

  • Due to that, many people couldn’t come and I’m sorry for it


We totally, definitely should do this more often.

You need to reinvent yourself for every global day or people will stop coming

The Joys of the Craft Should we start the TDD cycle on refactor?

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