Kurt's Blog

December 5, 2011

The Global Day of Coderetreat in Cologne

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Kurt Häusler @ 5:39 pm

On the 3rd of December a very special event took place. Corey Haines, with a lot of help from others, planned a Global Day of Coderetreat. Now code retreats have been going on for a while now. I missed out on a chance to attend one in Düsseldorf recently because I was attending another event, so I was determined to attend this one. However in the excitement of SoCraTes I took it a step further and committed myself to not only attending but hosting and facilitating (back then it didn’t occur to me that hosting and facilitating were two different things) the Global Day of Coderetreat in Cologne. (I never got around to making a decent website for it)


There are probably three people that I think need special thanks.

  • Corey Haines, as mentioned, for organizing the whole thing.
  • Adrian Bolboaca, for giving me the kick start at ALE2011, and conducting an extremely useful Skype session for new facilitators.
  • Jim Hurne, just did a whole bunch of work behind the scenes, preparing slides and other graphical materials, I am sure I don’t even know half of what he did, but just from the mailing list activity etc, you can tell he contributed a huge amount.

Some of the themes we tried for activities were:

  • Kent Beck’s 4 Rules of Simple Design. Although I think we misinterpreted the last one as “minimizing the size of classes and methods”, surely that leads to a simpler design than minimizing the number of classes and methods.
  • TDD as you meant it
  • A free choice session where people can choose up to three from No Conditionals, No Iteration, No Data Structures, and All Methods Must be 4 Lines or Less.
  • Object Calisthenics
  • Silent Pairing

The event could not have taken place without the help of our generous sponsors:

codecentric galaxycats_logo opitz
simfy_rgb cowoco viaboxx

Oh. Any participants that are interested in the offers that global sponsors Codeschool and DNSimple are offering, should contact me to get that hooked up.

There are a couple of other things we didn’t really have time to introduce properly. There is now a Coderetreat Community Contribution Fund (c3f), and a Coderetreat Community Network. If you are interested in attending, hosting or facilitating a coderetreat then check those links out and sign up to stay up to date.

Here are some of the media from the event.

Everyone setting up in Cologne #gdcr11 on Twitpic First session underway in Cologne #gdcr11 on Twitpic This is breakfast at #gdcr11 Cologne on Twitpic Our code retreat has a 3D printer workshop in the same room #... on Twitpic Lunchtime in Cologne #gdcr11 on Twitpic

There is a video available here, and a Flickr set here.

Already looking forward to the next one.



  1. Again a big thanks for arranging this, Kurt. It was an awesome event. I’ll get around to blogging about it soon as well, I hope 🙂

    Comment by Thomas Ferris Nicolaisen — December 5, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

  2. Sounds like it was good fun. Some of my colleagues participated in the one in Melbourne so I’ve been reading their thoughts about it as well.

    Out of interest though..what is silent pairing?

    Comment by Mark Needham — December 6, 2011 @ 12:17 am

  3. Silent Pairing is pair programming without talking to each other. You have to focus on making the tests and code clear enough to communicate the author’s intent.

    Comment by Kurt Häusler — December 6, 2011 @ 7:52 am

  4. It sounds like a great fun. Too bad I couldn’t make it. Thank you for organizing this!

    Comment by Sergey Shishkin — December 6, 2011 @ 10:04 am

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