The Hours Before

Posted by Jim Hurne on Dec 5, 2011

It was 3:30pm on Friday afternoon, and I was heading out of work for my daily drive back home. I slipped behind the wheel of my car, turned the key, put the car into gear, and then...sat there.  Because it wasn't just any Friday. In just a few hours, the first Coderetreats of the Global Day of Coderetreat would start.

Before I could start my drive, I thought about what was going to happen. At about 5:00pm my time on Friday, or about 10:00pm UTC, the first coderetreats of 90+ were going to start in Australia, and lives would start to be changed.  The event would then follow the sun and march around the world, leaving a wake of changed developers behind it.

I thought about the incredible amount of work that was done by many people to make the Global Day of Coderetreat a reality. Hosts and facilitators all around the world had been working hard for the last three months getting ready. Local organizers ran long and challenging marketing campaigns to get people to come out and participate. Sometimes, the entire global community would "swarm" a single location to help raise sign-up numbers. Experienced facilitators trained new facilitators. SWAG was explored, evaluated, and debated. Sponsors were found. Stickers were printed and mailed. Websites were launched. New applications were hastily written and pressed into service. Interviews were recorded and published. Emails were sent. Tweets were broadcast (and re-broadcasted).

In short, the global effort to make Saturday, December 3rd special was very large and incredibly inspirational. I couldn't "just drive" like I did on every other day. I found myself needing a few moments to reflect on what was accomplished and what would be accomplished in the next few hours.

Eventually, I did take my foot off the brake and put it onto the gas. Eventually, I did drive home. But during the entire one-hour drive, I found myself thinking and reflecting on what an amazing community of developers we have. Not just locally, but globally.

I had trouble focusing on anything else for the rest of the evening. My wife threatened to take away my phone as I eagerly read tweets and emails about the early hours of the global event.  Some of us ended up on IRC. Eventually, Corey Haines took a moment from facilitating to jump on IRC and tell us all to go to bed.  After all, we were going to be hosting and facilitating our own coderetreats (I'll write more on Pittsburgh's amazing day later).

For me, those few hours leading up to the start of Global Day of Coderetreat were special.  I'll never forget what it felt like to reflect on what so many had worked for.