12 Aug 2012

CodeRetreat @SteelCityRuby: A Post Mortem

My head has finally stopped spinning from the CodeRetreat at this year’s Steel City Ruby Conference (2012), the fires are extinguished at work, and I’m ready to document the experience. I arrived as the first participant, not because I’m overachieving but because the Pittsburg taxi system is very irregular. I allowed the same time as the day before for a cabbie to pick me up, which was 30 minutes. Instead I was swooped up in 10 minutes and arrived nearly an hour early for the CodeRetreat at 4Mom’s office. The CodeRetreat was lead by the charismatic Corey Haines, the same bloke who set a wonderful tone on day one of @SteelCityRuby by emphasizing personal networking. In fact, the tone set by his keynote speech kept the conference largely free from individuals using their laptops during speeches! Quite a difference from other conference scenes that I’ve experienced :). But back to the point, the CodeRetreat was held in the offices of 4Moms and the food was sponsored by those fine folks. We started the day by pair programming Conway’s Game of Life using Test Driven Development. The first round lasted 45 min and we were then told that the specs had changed and to fix our code in another 10 min. Thankfully our code was relatively modular and the changes needed were minimal. We reviewed the amount of code revision needed to implement small requirement shifts and discussed how to build in flexibility and simplicity into the code.

Notes: Revelations: spending time learning social intricacies of collaborating