Legacy Retreat - Looking for a co-facilitator

Hey Folks,

I have been approach by a company who wants to run a code retreat to help improve their teams' approach to a brownfield project.  This sounds more like a legacy retreat to me.  Would anyone who has run a legacy retreat like to hook up with me and help me run it?

BTW - I noticed from the legacy code retreat site that some people appear to be trying to corner the idea as their baby.  I'm sure that wasn't the intention but I would be interested to know if anyone has anything to add.

Many Thanks


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Hi Adrian,

You didn't say where the company is. UK I presume?



Hi Jeff

Thanks for you reply - and well done for spotting my deliberate mistake :-)

The company were actually in Germany. We went there the week before last for a 2 day event.  We used Conways in the coderetreat format on day 1 to introduce TDD, refactoring and pairing and get them used to having tests before.  On day 2 we got in to some legacy code issues using J.B.'s canned trivia example to introduce some key concepts (introducing tests, moving in small steps even though the problem is very large) and then they started working on refactoring some of their more challenging legacy code in the afternoon.

All in all, it was a great success.  By the end of the event they were all finding lots of interesting new ways to break up code that no-one had dared touch for ages!



Hi Adrian,

It sounds like it was a great engagement. I'm glad you had such success!


Hi Adrian,

This is a bit off topic but what is "J.B.'s canned trivia example? 

I am considering organizing a retreat here at my company and we mostly do brownfield development.  I'm wondering if this is a good activity for our purposes.

Thanks in advance...


Hi Dennis,

JB is JB Rainsberger. He started the legacy code retreat practice. He has a legacy code base here:


that can be used for an event, and you can read about running a legacy code retreat here:


Hi Dennis

Jeff got there first - but yes, it was the trivia example we used.

All I can say is WOW!  That's some very smelly code.


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