I had the good fortune to spend last Thursday through Sunday in the middle of Prince William Forest Park in Virginia at WeCamp--a programming retreat comprised of one day of pair-programming and two days of "unconference" group sessions. For those who weren't lucky enough to attend or who haven't even heard of WeCamp, here's a list of five of my favorite experiences from WeCamp this year. Maybe it'll convince you that WeCamp is a place you should be next year too.
1. Pair-Programming in Silence
One of the exercises during the day of pair-programming was to pair for 45 minutes without saying anything out loud. My pair, an awesome woman from Pittsburgh named Jackie, and I took turns each writing a test, and the other would implement the code to make it pass. A very cool exercise in making sure one's tests actually communicate as they should.
2. Building Blackjack in Elixir
WeCamp is based on the model of RubyDCamp, so the pair-programming exercises are expected to be carried out in Ruby, however, one of my pairing partners and I were interested in trying to write blackjack in Elixir instead. We ended up spending two pairing sessions and a couple hours later that night building out pieces of the game.
3. "Command Line Apps in Ruby", "DevOps", & "Radical Helpfulness"
Maybe this one is cheating since it's technically three-for-one, but these were the titles of three of my favorite unconference sessions. I love learning about new tools and tips and about how to be more kind.
4. Late Night Board Games
Who doesn't like playing board games with new friends, especially in front of a cozy fire? Imperial and Tiny Epic Defenders are two of my new favorites.
5. Waking up in The Woods
Prince William Forest Park is a gorgeous place, and fall is a gorgeous time of year. It's hard to imagine a more serene place to practice and talk about programming and tech.
I'm grateful to all of my fellow campers who made my WeCamp experience so educational and meaningful and to SmartLogic for helping make it possible by sponsoring the event. Thanks for reading this re-cap; maybe I'll see you in Prince William Forest Park next year?