Dec 2011

Global Day of Coderetreat



Ex Machina Sagl, vialle dei Faggi 9 - Lugano

Ex Machina Sagl


December 3rd, 2011, from 9:30am to 5:00pm

The Event

Global Day of Coderetreat in Lugano

Not only software craftsmen but every professional developer should care about life-long learning and continually improving his skills. Successful software development requires a wide range of skills and focus from a team, and the technical practices are a core part. Unfortunately it is often difficult to integrate effective skill development into our daily workflow. Creating an environment that allows us to focus on improving those technical skills - one at a time - is the goal of coderetreats.

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 mean of skill improvement. Practicing the principles of modular and object-oriented design, developers can improve their ability to write code that minimizes the cost of change over time.

The Coderetreat day consists of 5-6 facilitated sessions, with an established, time-tested format that is optimized for focused practice. During the event a simple task (the Conway's Game Of Life) is repeatedly tackled over the course of several sessions, each session concentrating on a specific area of software development and design. Skills that can be part of the exercise include the 4 rules of simple design, OO principles (SOLID), TDD as if you mean it, Functional Programming, Continous Refactoring, Object Calisthenics, pair programming/communication, ping-pong pairing. Responsibilities of the Facilitator include introducing the day, guiding pairs through each session, leading inter-session retrospectives and the closing circle. Each session's learnings build upon previous sessions.

The ideas presented and practiced in Coderetreat are applicable to any object-oriented language. To this end, it is suggested that coderetreats are explicitly multi-lingual. While coderetreat is not a day to learn a new language, it is perfectly acceptable for someone to work in a language they are not familiar with. Participants are expected to bring their own laptop to the event, with an IDE of choice.

The Coderetreat is a completely free event. Coffee, beverages, and lunch are provided free of cost to all participants thanks to local sponsors Canoo and Ex Machina. Global sponsors JetBrains, ThoughtWorks, Pernix, and Pragmatic Programmers will also contribute to the event with giveaways for the attendees. To register to the event please send an email to with your name, town and company.

More info can be found here.


Hamlet D'Arcy

Hamlet D'Arcy, Sr. Java/Groovy Developer, Groovy and CodeNarc Committer

Hamlet D'Arcy has been writing software since the 90s, and has spent considerable time coding in Groovy, Java, and C++. He's passionate about learning new languages and different ways to think about problems. Hamlet is the founder of the Basel-based Hackergarten open source coding group, and regularly participates and speaks at local and international user groups and conferences. Hamlet is a committer on the Groovy and CodeNarc projects, and is a contributor on a few other open source projects (including IntelliJ IDEA and the IDEA Groovy Plugin). He blogs regularly at and can be found on Twitter as HamletDRC.

Local Sponsors



Canoo Engineering is the company of choice for Rich Internet Applications (RIA), linguistic morphology and word analysis systems. Thanks to over 12 years' experience constructing business applications and with some of the most experienced Java developers in Europe, it's no wonder Canoo Engineering is the preferred supplier to some of the world's leading organizations.

Ex Machina

Ex Machina

Ex Machina is a competence center for Open Source technologies, and one of the largest independent provider of high-quality IT services in Southern Switzerland. Founded in early 2005 in Lugano, Ex Machina provides its Clients with superior IT professional services, living up to the promises of a "Made in Switzerland" service standard. Through its relationships with technical Universities both in Switzerland and abroad, Ex Machina contributes to research in many fields of application of Open Source technology.

Global Sponsors


Drawing from the Coderetreat 2011 at Ex Machina, Lugano. By Asia Cobianco

Registration Form

Please fill out the form to register to this event

Building Map