Facilitating Global day of Coderetreat 2013

On the 14th of December 2013 – the Global Day of Coderetreat was held at Warsaw as part of annual Agile Development Day. Event was hosted by Pragmatists and Sages.

For me it was first time to facilitate this kind of event. Many thanks to organizers for providing hangout workshops about facilitating coderetreat event. This provided many helpful information

We followed a fairly standard format but we had only 5 sessions in total. We wanted to leave some time to participants to network and get to know each other doing brakes.

My first thought of theme of this coderetreat was Test-Driven development. But after seeing how good people are doing TDD and Pair programming after first few sessions we started to play with OO programming in last sessions.

Session 1 – Warm up with no constraints

Starting session to get to know the problem.

Session 2 – Ping pong pair programming with TDD

Session teaching pair programming and Test Driven Development rules. One additional constraint was not using plain arrays.

Session 3 – Mute pair programming with evil coder

Person being Evil coder was supposed to implement the code in a way the tester doesn’t expect.

Session 4 – Extreme OO.

3 lines of code per method
2 fields per class
3 methods per class
One dot per line

It turned up to be very difficult to follow those rules. But there were some insights that creating small classes and small methods made the code more readable and better designed.

Session 5 – Pick your own

In last session we voted for constraint. And “no if statements” was picked up. We have very interesting approaches to code without ifs and people have a lot of fun in this session.


One thing i could have done is ask user to write down one thing they wanted to learn before event. Then after last session write one most important thing they learned.
On Retrospection session we could compare this findings with others. I got this idea watching photos from other cites and i think its the best way to sum up whole day.

Interesting sessions in other locations

Some interesting sessions that other teams around the world were doing:

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Inherit the code from the previous session (yes we did not delete our code). With mixed pairs (1 of the 2 knows of the old code base).

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Zombie cells, which are cells that where alive, died, and then revived. Zombie Cells behave like Alive cells for now but we ought to know if they where ‘resurrected’

Berlin, Germany
No return values

Peterborough, UK
Abstract cartoon names for variables


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