July Meeting - Coding Dojo Summary

I have to admit I was somewhat unsure how our first Coding Dojo evening would turn out not having ever experienced one let alone facilitated one. However the feedback has been really positive and everyone, it seems, really enjoyed the evening and got something out of it.

For the evening we had a choice of 3 kata's.

Kata Roman Numerals
Kata Word Chains
Kata Towers of Hanoi

Everyone decided to pair up which was great, and there were some good discussions going on around the tables afterwards. I had intended that groups break off into rooms based on the kata they had chosen. As it turned out all bar one pair decided to tackle the Roman Numerals problem, with the other pair doing the Word Chains problem. Interestingly, Kata Roman Numerals probably seemed to be, on the face of it, the easier challenge....oh how mistaken one can be. :) But that in no way took away from the evening. It was really encouraging to see a bunch of great developers with a dogged determination to tackle the problem at hand.

Just about everyone tackled their kata using a TDD approach and mostly using C# in VisualStudio. The only breakaway from that norm was a Python implementation. One interesting observation was that while TDD was helping to validate the algorithms people were developing (many and varied I might add) it certainly didn't guarantee that a valid solution was found. There was a bit of discussion and debate surrounding this issue at the end too.

All in all a great night and once again thanks to Oakton for putting up with us all and refreshing us with beers and pizza.

See you all on August 18th for a Lightning Talks evening.

Edit (9/8/2010): David Burela posted a blog of his experience of the Coding Dojo night.

July Meeting - Coding Dojo

For this month at Melbourne Alt.NET we'll be doing a Coding Dojo evening. This is an opportunity to have a bit of fun and try out something a bit different.

For anyone not familiar with what a coding dojo is take a quick look at the Coding Dojo Wiki. But put simply and as defined on the Coding Dojo Wiki:

A Coding Dojo is a meeting where a bunch of coders get together to work on a programming challenge. They are there have fun and to engage in DeliberatePractice in order to improve their skills.

There will be 2 or 3 challenges to choose from on the evening and we'll keep them fairly simple. If you look at the Coding Dojo Wiki site you might notice that there are only two types of meetings, the prepared kata and the randori kata. We will do an individual/paired version so that everyone is participating at the same time. Check out the Sydney Alt.NET group who did this back in March, and also the summary post from the March meeting for an idea of how things will run. Oh and no we WON'T be doing the same kata's. :-)

The only real requirements are to bring a laptop with your development weapon(s) of choice (anything you like) and an enthusiastic mind set. If you don't have a laptop, fear not, we'll get some paired teams happening as well.

Keep in mind that a coding dojo is not a competition and the only thing that matters is to give it a go.

Please use the RSVP voting panel to indicate if you're coming along so that we can get the pizza and drinks orders sorted. Look forward to seeing you there.