Alan Dean

CTO, Developer, Agile Practitioner

Photograph of Alan Dean

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It’s not a Hack Day

Last week I went to the Cloud Gathering in London. Whilst there, I had a number of discussions about the forthcoming Open Spaces Coding Day and it became clear that I need to clarify the objectives:

  • It isn’t a ‘Hack Day’ where there is a defined target such as “build a cool new app”.
  • It isn’t a ‘Training Day’ where there is a curriculum or class-based training.
  • It is a ‘Hands-on Learning Day’.

What do I mean by ‘Learning Day’? Well, for a start I want to make it clear that the attendees are not expected to create applications. The code that is produced must be checked in to the repository, but that is so we can all come by later a get a copy of it to learn ourselves or to remind ourselves what we did.

Let’s say that there is a session on NHibernate (which wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest). In six months time, one of the attendees is asked to do some work that involves NHibernate and thinks “this is what we were doing on the Coding Day”. The attendee can go and refresh their memory from code that they learnt with. I believe that this has value to the community.

Another example is that there may be a group of people who all know nothing about a subject, perhaps something new like Azure or something old like Mono. They can work to together to learn how to get on the first step of the ladder, which is often the hardest part of learning.

In summary, this is all about self-actualisation within a supporting group of like-minded individuals.