Xero is proud to be supporting this year’s Global Day of Code Retreat, where on December 8, groups of developers around the globe will get together to practice the craft of software development.
For those lucky enough to live in Wellington, New Zealand, you get to both meet with like-minded developers and check out Xero’s fancy new offices.
The philosophy behind Code Retreats can be summed up in the quote,
“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.”
The quote is from Corey Haines, the originator of the Code Retreat concept. Actually it’s a quote from his elderly music teacher that she, no doubt, borrowed from Vince Lombardi – but anyway, it’s at the heart of the concept.
In the context of software development I’m not sure I agree there is a “perfect” way to do anything but it does highlight a conflict facing anyone developing for a living. You spend your working day “practicing” your craft but you have to (yes, have to) make compromises along the way. You often don’t have the time, experience, tools, knowledge, budget to do it the way you know it should be done. You have to come up with something that get’s you over the finish line but leaves you feeling like you could have done it better.
Code Retreats aim to help you as a developer reduce the gap between the “perfect” solution and the one you end up building. Developer junkies get together for a day of coding, collaboration and generally honing their craft – and all without the harsh realities of coding for a living.
The format of the day is the same wherever it’s being hosted:
- The day centres around modeling Conway’s Game of Life
- There are six 45 minute sessions – each with a different focus
- Pair-programming is necessary, as the knowledge transfer contained in that activity is essential to the practice
- Preference given to using Test-Driven Development (TDD)
- After each session, pairs should be swapped
- After each session, code must be deleted, not put in a branch, not stashed, just deleted with no trace left!
So no doubt, after a day like this, when you come to work on Monday, you’ll be that much closer to living the utopian dream of writing perfect code – sounds good to me.