Where I work we have some really great programmers. They all have different backgrounds, which make them a great source to learn from. Unfortunately, I never really had the chance to program with most of them, because they either work in a different team or in a different project. I always considered this to be a missed opportunity and was searching for a way to improve skill transfer among my colleagues. My search ended when I heard about coderetreats.
A coderetreat is a daylong event, focused on practicing the basic principles of good design without the pressure of having to get things done. The day is split into six sessions, in which you work on the same problem over and over again. In each session you will pair with a different programmer to maximize the knowledge transfer. The important thing is that after each session all the code that has been written so far is deleted. This gives you the chance in the next session to all start over again without being constrained by any design decisions you made in the previous one. The combination of pair programming with the focus on writing perfect code instead of solving the problem gives you a unique opportunity to improve your skills.
Since hearing about coderetreats I have facilitated two internal coderetreats at my workplace. They turned out be great fun and we all learned a lot during the day. This is why I am really happy to announce that we will be facilitating a public coderetreat at BMW Car IT on December 3rd. This coderetreat will be part of the Global Day of Code Retreat initiated by Corey Haines. Coderetreats will take place all over the world. The event is free of charge, food and drinks will be provided by BMW Car IT. If you are a programmer and eager to learn, head over to www.coderetreat-munich.de for more information and registration.