I did a code retreat today for the first time. It was educational, super difficult, and cruel which is comparable to riding my city bike in the middle of an ice storm wearing swim trunks.
We wrote JS versions of Conway’s Game of Life in pairs. Four times. With only 45 minutes each time. We had to trash our code completely at 45 minutes. We had to write tests and pass them, which is like a test-first devvy thingy or something. The difficulty was upped each time.
- Round 1: make it happen
- Round 2: Ping pong – One person writes the test, the other makes it pass and then writes the test. It turns out this can be pretty evil.
- Round 3: Ping pong + microfunctions – Functions can’t exceed 5 lines and have to adhere to coding standards. This means each function’s contents are 3 lines. Weee!
- Round 4: Nightmare mode – Ping pong, microfunctions, and zero talking. No communication at all. No writing, no noise, no blinking. Nothing. Just code writing.
- Round 5: Drink beer until the game of life doesn’t seem so bad.
For serious, though, it was pretty dang fun. I highly recommend it. I also now have opinions on data structure for this thing.