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Author's profile photo Tanja Schöllhammer

My Impressions of ABAP CodeRetreat in Salzburg – 14.10.2023

Ever wondered what happens after a lengthy working week full of ABAP programming? What do devoted ABAP enthusiasts do in their spare time? The answer is: of course, even more coding! With one exception only: no annoying interruptions, like meetings. 😉

This was proven by the 10 eager participants and the organizing team consisting of Johann Fößleitner, Dominik Bigl and myself from Cadaxo along with CodeRetreat devotee Damir Majer who gathered in Salzburg on Saturday, October 14, for yet another ABAP CodeRetreat.

As I’m a newbie to the ABAP/SAP sphere, I was especially delighted to take part in my first ever CodeRetreat – even if only as an observer. I was in charge of snapping pictures and capture the overall atmosphere at the event – and of course help with the organizational tasks. The perks (or downsides 😉) of being a non-developer.

In a relaxed and chill atmosphere and among fellow ABAP enthusiasts, the agenda revolved around the main activity of the day, namely, CODING! And here’s how I experienced it…


Let’s Get Practical!

The event started with an inspirational speech by Damir Majer on the topic of Test Driven Development, closely followed by exciting insights on ADT refactoring including a live demo by Föß and Domi. Moreover, Conway’s Game of Life rules and the concept of CodeRetreat were thoroughly explained, with the event’s focus being on ADT, Clean Code, TDD, and related topics.

After about 1h of theoretical input, the event reached its core, meaning, it was finally time to get to the keys and start the first coding session. This implied: lots of Unit Tests, followed by even more short sessions with different tasks throughout the day. Of course, lots of time was also planned for coffee breaks to refill energy levels and get to know the fellow participants even better. For lunch, we ordered pizza – yei! 😊

At this point I should not go into more detail about the topics themselves, to avoid possible spoilers for upcoming events. However, the overall basic “rules” of ABAP CodeRetreat should be described in a bit more detail, as I was really impressed by this unique concept:


Rule #1 – Pair Programming 

The day was divided into 45-minute coding sessions, which were contested in pairs. Together, the participants tried to implement the game. Speaking of trying – at the end, the goal was not necessarily to have a finished result. Rather, the focus was put on the approach itself: Clean Code, TDD and the associated discussions were far more important than solving all tasks completely. Very true to the motto: programming without pressure and with lots of fun.

This approach is designed to motivate quick and efficient problem solving and to encourage participants to focus on a clean, logical approach to the tasks. After each session, the various solutions of the pairs were discussed in open feedback sessions. 

Although each pair worked on one computer, meticulous care was taken to ensure that there was a change of the person in charge of coding every 10 minutes. This way, everyone could actively participate in the fun and acquire their own learnings.

Rule #2 & #3 Starting AGAIN – With a Twist 

To the dismay of the participants 😉, the entire code was completely deleted after each mini-session and the pairs were mixed up again as well. This way, participants could incorporate and share previous learnings and could approach the following task with a unique set of skills and experiences. Hence, mutual exchange was a huge benefit.


Conclusion – An Event by Developers for Developers

ABAP Code Retreat is anything but a blah marketing event. Rather, it is a fun and insightful get-together organized by ABAP devotees for ABAP devotees, where solutions are discussed together, participants exchange ideas and learn from each other. The developers are actively involved and don’t just passively listen to input thrown at them. So that the learning curve is even more enhanced. 

ABAP CodeRetreat is a fun event which enables intensive ABAP practice as also evidenced by the feedback from one of the participants:

„We took away a lot from the ABAP CodeRetreat for our daily work. From TestDrivenDevelopment to new ABAP techniques, there was something for everyone. Learning from each other was fun !”

A big thank you goes to Damir Majer for co-organizing and hosting this year’s ABAP CodeRetreat as well as to Patrick Thaler and SPAR ICS for the amazing location!! It’s been a real pleasure to co-organize and take part in the event (even for me, as a non-developer 😉) – a true recommendation for all (soon to be) ABAP enthusiasts. 

Stay tuned for more: the next CodeRetreat is coming soon for sure!

Let me know, if you’ve found this blog post insightful!


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      Author's profile photo Matthew Billingham
      Matthew Billingham

      For pair programming, try having one write the unit tests, then the other write the code to meet those tests. But only the minimum.

      It's called evil pair programming.

      Author's profile photo Rainer Lindemann
      Rainer Lindemann

      I'm sure it works wonders in terms of work atmosphere... 🙂

      Have you actually tried this in practice, i.e. for productive code, among colleagues?

      Author's profile photo Matthew Billingham
      Matthew Billingham

      Nah. Just when on the TDD workshop a few years ago. It was fun - yes, I was the evil one.