Competence weekend at Örenäs

Last weekend it was time for our second “competence weekend” this year. The .Net, Java and Test teams spent the Friday and Saturday until noon at Örenäs castle.

Team in front of Örenäs

The agenda this time contained slightly less prepared sessions than usually which gave opportunity for many interesting discussions. After an big breakfast overlooking Öresund with the Hven island clearly visible we started off with the first activity of the day. This was an exercise in the form of a coderetreat where the task was to implement the well known “Game of Life”. The time allowed for each exercise was constructed in such a way that it should be virtually impossible to finish, this focus the participants attention to the actual development and implementation instead of the end result. The .Net team only had time for two sessions. The special requirement in the first session was that the code should be test driven. In the second session the special requirement was to make the code as object oriented as possible. The main languages used were of course C# and Java but Javascript, Clojure and Ruby was used as well. Besides the opportunity to get to know a colleague you usually don’t work with and get acquainted with a foreign development environment, interesting thoughts regarding design arose. If you haven’t tried an exercise like that before I warmly recommend it.

Game of Life

After lunch – yes there is usually a lot of food – the .Net team retired to a separate room and divided into groups with different focus with the designated outcome to make a short presentation and share the result at the end of the day. We worked on different areas such as deployment of a server application for push notification to WP7 to AppHarbor and development of a WP7 application for films currently on TV (soon to be released). I myself joined a group discussing the EventSource in html5 and if and when to use it. For a deeper discussion regarding the subject see this blog post.
The evening started with a delicious 3-course dinner. After dinner some continued with an open space, one subject being if there is a mismatch between REST and HTPP while others shared their favorite music.
Saturday morning I spent with a couple of colleagues discussing what components should be used in a web app with the requirement of client side logic. After that some lightning talks about different subjects ranging from BISM functionality in SQL Server 2012 to quick start to Raven DB. We, as usually, ended the competence weekend with a short retrospective which gave at hand that it had been a good competence gathering, of course with the potential of improvement.

Our competence march moves on – bye!

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