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I Went to my First Code Retreat!

21 Nov 2018

Last Saturday, I went to my first code retreat. It's a one day worldwide event where we can practice software development. It's possible to come whatever your experience, whatever your predilection language, whatever you have a laptop or not. Once there, you'll be able to share your experience and learn from the others.

The Nantes session

The session I went to, in Nantes, was organized as follows:

  1. find a pair
  2. choose one or several development constraints
  3. practice the game of life kata during 45 minutes
  4. talk with your pair during a few minutes about what worked well and what could have been better
  5. report briefly with the whole group, to explain which constraints have been chosen, and how difficult it was to follow them
  6. restart to 1.

The organizers thought about several constraints we could pick:


During the day, we performed 4 kata sessions and had a lot of interesting talks.

The goal of the retreat is not to finish the kata, but to experiment the different constraints in a safe environment, without any time or delivery pressure. And that worked pretty well: I have never been close to finish the Game of Life :) I have no whatsoever frustration, but this kata is so cool that I'll definitely give it another shot, without any time constraint.

The assessment of the event is good. I was able to code in different languages, with different constraints and approaches. All pairs have been friendly and easy to "work" with. Also, all the sessions I participated at strengthened my beliefs:

My only regret is that I couldn't pair with someone savvy about functional programming. There was only one person that daily codes in Scala, and she was very in demand.

Thanks to S├ębastien and Jean, the organizers. The day went so fast, that was a blast! I'm looking forward to coming next year.