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October 1, 2012

Global Day of Coderetreat

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The in-house development team here at Pluralsight is composed of passionate developers who have embraced the positive aspects of software craftsmanship. As a team, we participate in continual learning and community involvement. In addition to individual study, we attend, speak at, and organize user groups and conferences. One of the upcoming events that we are excited about is the Global Day of Coderetreat. This international event will be held December 8th, 2012. Last year over 1800 developers in 94 cities worldwide participated in the first annual Global Day of Coderetreat. This year the Coderetreat community hopes to double those numbers.

What is a Coderetreat?

Coderetreat is a free, all-day event devoted to practicing our skills as software developers. We spend (hopefully no more than) 40 hour work weeks producing for our employers, but not enough of us take time for explicit practice outside of that. A Coderetreat is an opportunity to practice and try things out. Attendees work with a group of other devoted developers to solve a well-known problem given a variety of different constraints. Throughout the day, we focus on improving our understanding of the 4 elements of simple design, Test Driven Development and Pair Programming.

All languages and paradigms are welcome. At previous Utah Coderetreats we have had pairs work in C#, JavaScript, Ruby (with and without Rails), Java, Scala, Clojure, Prolog, Erlang and Smalltalk. The only instruction around languages is that one member of the pair should have a development environment already configured and enough experience that you can at least write basic tests. You may find that you want to work in more familiar languages for more complex constraints or maybe you just want to get exposure to a whole new set of tools you haven’t used before.

At a Code retreat, we turn the dial to 11 to see how far you can reasonably take an idea.

  • Have you heard that short methods or small classes are better?
    • How short is too short?
    • How small is too small?
  • Have you heard that object oriented code should tell but not ask?
    • What if you never ask a collaborator anything?
  • Have you heard that you should write automated tests?
    • What if you don’t know how?
    • How much should you test anyway?
  • Have you heard that your code should be expressive?
    • What does expressive code look like?
    • Can you make it too expressive?
  • We get a chance to experiment with these and other “rules” of software development.

For a detailed description of what to expect, here is a video of the introduction Corey Haines gave at a Cleveland Coderetreat:
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/18955165 w=960&h=402]

How can one find a Coderetreat to attend?

Coderetreats are happening all the time. You can use the searchable list on coderetreat.org to find one in your area. If you specifically want to participate in Global Day of Coderetreat (and you should) search for events occurring on December 8th, 2012. You can also see what cities are participating by looking at the interactive map.

Coderetreats at Pluralsight

Last year, two members of our team organized and facilitated the Salt Lake City, UT event for the 1st Annual Global Day of Coderetreat. This year, Pluralsight is sponsoring 2 Coderetreats in Utah and the team is organizing and facilitating both. We invite you to join us in either our Layton, UT main office or our Lehi, UT development office. Of course, if you aren’t close enough to come to our offices, don’t let that prevent you from attending. Come out and join us as we learn to be better developers together!

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