Posted by Aaron Lerch on Dec 5, 2011

Crossposted from

Session 1 at Global Day of CoderetreatToday, the Global Day of Coderetreat came to Indianapolis. And it was great.

13 people chose to spend the whole day on Saturday, December 3rd, in the "common area" at Interactive Intelligence honing their skillz.

By the way, I want to extend a huge thanks to Interactive Intelligence for providing the space, a catered lunch, and some breakfast! It was awesome!

This was my first coderetreat, not to mention the first one I've hosted and facilitated. I was trusting Corey Haines' experience when it came to the format, and I was very pleased with how it went. We did 6 45-minute sessions, each time pairing up and implementing Conway's Game of Life. People used a wide variety of languages throughout the day: ruby, python, C#, java, javascript, even some C++.

Many of the people were new to practices like pairing, and TDD. We also got to explore a lot of design ideas and look at different ways to approach a problem. I really enjoyed being able to throw in various constraints during each session and then to see how it affected the approaches or designs that people came up with.

Overall, I got very positive feedback - it really seemed like a valuable day for everybody, for a wide variety of reasons. By far, people said that the pairing and the ping/pong TDD were the most enlightening aspects of the day. It was great to have a structured and guided environment for people to explore those concepts that can otherwise be difficult to dig into ad-hoc.

Other things people learned or enjoyed were designing with the Tell, Don't Ask approach, and getting exposed to some new languages.

Overall I think it was a huge success. Or at least, I was very pleased with how it went and how it seemed to affect people. :) People grew as software developers today! That's awesome in and of itself. :)

Thanks to all who attended!!