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.

Code Retreat

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.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/Gospers_glider_gun.gif

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.

What’s next?

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.

Christian

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10 Comments

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  1. Ovidiu Hancila

    1)Code Retreat? -> sounds great.

    2) Why not? free food 🙂

    3) first I will go for “basic activities”

    Thanks for the initiative,

    Best regards,

    Ovidiu

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  2. Raphael Pacheco

    I found quite interesting. Here in Brazil I’m doing something similar, now has a large network of SAP and non-SAP developers and have a webinar session that released four times a month talking about various technologies and plan to at the end of the year to an event. I found it interesting that coderetreat did not know this, thanks for sharing Christian Drumm 🙂 .

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  3. Joachim Rees

    Hey Christian,

    thanks for this for this blog!

    I learned about two new things I haven’t heard before (that podcast and Code Retreat), so that’s great!

    “Missing Tool Activities – No Mouse” sounds like an interesting experience, I think I’d benefit from that!

    Best

    Joachim

    PS: see you at CodeJam Aachen tomorrow, I guess! 🙂

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        1. Joachim Rees

          Hi Raphael ,

          if I understood it correctly, a CodeRetreat really lives and relies on being a “real life, in person” event, so a session broadcast would not make much sense here.

          However, if you like the idea, maybe you can start a CodeRetreat yourself, in a region that is more convenient for you?!

          best

          Joachim

          PS: if you like organizing an in-person, SAP-related coding event in your region (with lots of support from SAP), SAP CodeJam might be just the right thing for you!

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