Check out the interview with Bryan Poetz (@bpoetz) below about bringing Coderetreat to Hamilton!
Tell me about yourself.
Iâ€™m a freelance software developer originally from the Brantford area. Â After bouncing around Guelph and Toronto, I settled in Hamilton with an eye towards a simpler life. Â I’ve been attending Software Hamilton events for the past year. Lately Iâ€™ve been helping to organize the monthly CoderCamp meetups, where developers, engineers and the code curious come to talk about the craft and learn from peers in a relaxed, informal setting.
What first got you into programming? How has your career been since?
My path to programming started as a 9 year old, playing with the 286 PC my parents bought secondhand. The machine came with MS-DOS. I liked that I could talk to the computer by learning commands. Â As I grew up I spent a lot of time playing computer games, but the computer programming classes taught in my small high school didnâ€™t really excite me.
I ended up at an IT job after college @ Mohawk. Â I got back into programming by writing Perl and Python scripts to help automate menial tasks for myself and my colleagues. Â From there I progressed to doing ETL consulting. Lately I’ve been doing freelance web application development and trying to bridge the gap between my ETL consulting work and my current work as a freelance developer.
You recently attended PyCon – how was that experience?
What is Coderetreat all about?
“Coderetreat is a day-long, intensive practice event, focusing on the fundamentals of software development and design. By providing developers the opportunity to take part in focused practice, away from the pressures of ‘getting things done’, the coderetreat format has proven itself to be a highly effective means of skill improvement. Practicing the basic principles of modular and object-oriented design, developers can improve their ability to write code that minimizes the cost of change over time.”
This is the description from Coderetreat Community Network, but for the event on July 23rd at Innovation Factory, weâ€™ll start with an evening event to gauge interest in doing longer and more focused practice meetups.
What can attendees expect?
Weâ€™ll break into pairs and work on implementing Conway’s Game of Life. There will be three 45 minute sessions. Â At the end of each session, we will delete our code. Â After the first session, we will impose constraints to see how those constraints influence the design.
How did you find out about Coderetreat?Â
I learned about Coderetreat from a friend at PyCon Canada in Toronto. Â Â He told me that Coderetreat helped him with his imposter syndrome. Â The idea that someone who I really respected could feel like a fraud really surprised me. Â It made me wonder how many of the friends who I respect also suffer through feelings of intense self doubt.
Why are you bringing Coderetreat to Hamilton?
I went to an Evening of Coderetreat in Toronto in May to check it out, and left feeling reasonably confident that I could replicate the event in Hamilton. Â I felt energized after attending, and I hope that I can help bring that energy to Hamilton.
I donâ€™t want to see any more of my friends have to get on the Go bus at 5 AM to get to their jobs. Coderetreat itself wonâ€™t solve that problem, but a vibrant software development community will hopefully contribute to creating more opportunities for us to work in Hamilton.
When and where will Coderetreat take place and how can attendees register?
Coderetreat will take place on Wednesday, July 23rd from 6 to 9 pm, at Innovation Factory. You can register at coderetreathamilton.eventbrite.ca.
What can attendees expect to gain from attending Coderetreat?
I hope attendees will leave with a better understanding of the craft of software design and will connect with other programmers who are interested in improving their own skills. I think many local developers could benefit from learning about the problem solving process with those who come to software development from a different background.
As an example, at the Coderetreat evening event I attended I learned a novel way to refactor complex conditional statements in Python and gained some insights into how people from functional programming backgrounds approach software design.
What are your future plans for Coderetreat in Hamilton?
Iâ€™d like to gauge interest in doing a global day of Coderetreat later in the year and turn it into a monthly meetup group.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’d like to thank Innovation Factory for hosting and Sinha Consulting Group for sponsoring us and offering to foot the bill for refreshments and snacks. If you are interested in learning more about coderetreat come out to CoderCamp on the 16th and we can chat about it.