Local Coderetreat For Tampa Bay Software Developers

In a typical day’s work, software developers focus on specific tasks and end results, but may not have a chance to explore alternative approaches to the craft of coding.

Enter Global Day of Coderetreat. The day-long worldwide practice event on December 8, 2012, gives coders a chance to practice different approaches, styles and philosophies in a focused and intense environment.

The organizers aim to engage 3,000 developers in 200 cities around the world, asking them to solve the same problem, but in their own unique way.

Now in its second year, the Tampa area event is hosted by 8th Light, Inc. on North Dale Mabry Highway. Coders break into pairs and participate in six to eight sessions throughout the day, each with different challenges and learning opportunities. The challenges are designed so that the teams won’t finish them during each session, purposely encouraging questions and issues. At the end of each session, the group reconvenes for a retrospective -- discussing what they liked, didn’t like, achievements and frustrations.

“It’s more about the practice,” says Gavin Stark, VP of product development for Real Digital Media and co-founder of Tampa Coderetreat. “We’re getting people away to improve their development skills.”

The event attracts a wide range of participants, from experienced developers to those just starting their software careers. Developers code in whatever language they know, and some will try a new language or learn a new approach to coding.
Last year’s event spawned monthly coding practice nights in which Ruby developers continue to practice the craft outside of the constraints of the workplace. The group plans to eventually expand these monthly events and form software communities throughout Tampa Bay to include other coding languages.

“Any time the community can help people reinforce or improve their skills, we improve as a community,” says Stark.

Source: Gavin Stark, Real Digital Media
Writer: Megan Hendricks

Read more articles by Megan Hendricks.

Megan Hendricks is a feature writer at 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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