Preston Codejo

This week saw the Magma Digital Offices transformed again into the Preston Codejo.

The second Monday of every month, Magma Digital hosts a Coding Dojo run by Jeremy Coates and Gemma Cameron.

Preston Codejo at Magma Digital OfficesThis month, as last, the focus was TDD (test driven development) using Ruby (a programming language), performing the Checkout Kata with a Randori format for the first part of the evening. A Randori is where a programming pair will each get five minutes driving the keyboard and navigating. The code is then projected onto a screen so the audience are able to contribute and participate.

The second part of the evening saw the group split off into pairs to begin the kata again from scratch, only this time it would be performed without the audiences participation. Approaching 20 developers came together to hone their skills by performing coding katas.

What are katas?

Katas are taken from the Japanese martial art practice of detailed choreographed patterns of movements practised either solo or in pairs. These katas are exercised at Dojos (training places) with the idea that the skills learned in the katas become second nature during a fight situation. By using coding katas, the new skills that are learnt during Codejo will become second nature when needed in a real life, coding, situation.

No need to be a coding pro

No previous knowledge of Ruby was required and we had a mix of abilities in the room. Many knew absolutely nothing about Ruby whilst some others really knew their stuff. The idea is that we learn from each other and enhance the learning experience for everyone. Those who knew their stuff became teachers and those who didn’t know the topic area well learned new skills.

The aftermath

After a couple of hours improving and teaching our coding skills, interspersed with coffee, everyone headed over to the Forum bar for a Retrospective on the kata. The Retrospective review proved to be a very important part of the whole learning experience and created much discussion and debate.

From this review, some of the ideas for the future months include:

  • TDD from hell
  • TDD as if you mean it.
  • Refactoring
  • Start with a skeleton and build up tests as you go.
If you’d like to find out more, come along!

So does Preston Codejo sound like something you might be interested in?

Codejo is all about developers learning together and from each other. It’s an opportunity for everyone to improve their skills.

Come and join us – It’s FREE

Please visit the Codejo website for more details.

Next Kata:

13th February, 7pm (doors open at 6.30pm)


Magma Digital Ltd
Derby House
12 Winckley Square

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