After recovering from a great SAP Inside Track 2016 Belgium #sitBRU (and the night shifts before to get the demo and slides ready 😉 ) I finally come around writing this blog.
SE Radio Podcast
When I have to drive longer distances by car I usually listen to podcasts to kill the boredom. One of the podcasts I listen to regularly is Software Engineering Radio. Software Engineering Radio is a podcast
targeted at the professional software developer. The goal is to be a lasting educational resource, not a newscast. Every two to four weeks, a new episode is published that covers all topics software engineering. Episodes are either tutorials on specific topics, or interviews with well-known experts from the software engineering world.
I would highly recommand the Software Engineering Radio podcast to anyone interested in software engineering in general. I covers a wide variety of topics and at least for me is a very good source for new ideas. One of the more recent episodes was an interview by Eberhard Wolff with Martin Klose (@martinklose)
on Code Retreats (SE-Radio Episode 251: Martin Klose on Code Retreats). This topic immediately caught my interest.
The Web site http://coderetreat.org/ contains a lot of details as well as experience reports on Code Retreats. As a SAP Inside Track or a SAP CodeJam a Code Retreat is a community event. According to the information on the Web site there are only few things necessary in order to host a Code Retreat:
- A Code Retreat lasts for a day
- The event must be free, funded by sponsors
- A facilitator is found to guide the participants through the day
- Lunch should be something good, catered; the rule is that if you are willing to come out at 8 in the morning to spend the day coding, you deserve more than just pizza for lunch 😀
This sounds to me like something very close to SAP Inside Track.
However, in contrast to SAP Inside Track or a SAP CodeJam it is not specifically focused on a certain Technology
or programming language. Instead the format of the Code Retreat is set up in such a way that it can easily be applied to different technologies or programming languages. During a Code Retreat Conway’s Game of Life is used as an example scenario. Using Conway’s Game of Life 5-6 45 minute exercise sessions followed by a 15 minute retrospective are conducted.
Each session’s learnings building upon previous sessions. The morning focuses on becoming comfortable with the problem domain, breaking old habits and beginning focused self-discovery. The afternoon pushes the envelope by challenging pairs to stretch their skills and understanding of abstractions, modular design and test-driven development.
The exercise session usually focus on the Simplicity Rules for good software design.
This all sounds very interesting to me. In my opinion Code Retreats could be a valuable addition to the existing community events for SAP developers. Therefore I talked to Damir Majer about his opinion on the topic was (maybe you have also read his recent blog CodeRetreat: How to perfect your Software-Craftmanship). The result is that Damir and I are planning to set up Code Retreats for ABAP developers. However, before we do this I’d like to collect some feedback from the community:
- What do you think about the Code Retreat concept?
- Would you be interested in participating in a Code Retreat?
- If yes, what kind of activities (cf. Coderetreat Activity Catalog) would you expect to practice?
I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the topic.