Yesterday, I attended my first Code Retreat. I wish I went to the last one in Atlanta, but I wasn’t sure I was ready at the time. I think my Ruby skills would have been fine based on what I heard about it later, so I was eagerly waiting for the next one. I signed up right away when this Code Retreat was announced.

The code retreat was split into six sessions. We worked in pairs implementing Conway’s Game of Life each time, but there were special instructions for most of the sessions. Working with constraints was kind of tricky when I worked with someone who didn’t know TDD or Ruby.

I never got far enough to work on the actual rules based on the neighboring cells in Conway’s Game of Life, but I had a lot of fun working with different people.

At the end, we were asked to answer a few questions.

What did you learn today?

I learned that everyone had different ideas about design and different approaches to the problem. I’m not sure what the best design is, but talking about design was really interesting.

What will you take away?

I worked with a couple of people who tried to write the least about of code possible to make a test pass, and I realized I knew how to write good tests, but I don’t normally write great tests on the first try. I want to improve the quality of my tests in general, now that I’ve noticed this.

What would you do differently?

I’d definitely like to learn to do TDD in another language and pair with people from other backgrounds. My only experience with testing is with Ruby.

Thank you Big Nerd Ranch, Mandrill, and Toolbox No. 9 for sponsoring!


15 December 2013