The Global Code Retreat was the first event I signed up for I did not thoroughly research which is pretty unsual. It was a busy week of new Java concepts so I suppose it slipped my mind to do so after I rsvped through Eventbrite and added it to my calendar. In the end, perhaps it was for the best. As a new programmer, it is easy to psyche yourself out when attending a code event you’ve never heard of by believing you aren’t good enough or don’t know enough to attend. First thing I knew was that I would be about two hours late to it which also made me anxious because I had to wait for an important morning delivery.

When I got there, everyone had their laptops out. It seemed I had arrived just in-time for the “next round.” Meanwhile I still had not idea what it was. However, I was paired with someone who really put my mind at ease. The last time I pair programmed was when I was learning Ruby which wasn’t too long ago but usually I knew more about the task at hand before going into it. The last thing I wanted to do was be in the driver’s seat for this coding session but my pair thought it was a good idea for me to code it since I missed out on the other two sessions. Since I’ve been coding in Java lately, I wanted to do attempt the assignment in the language. My pair was a Python programmer gave me the rundown of the assignment including some words I never thought I’d hear “Then you have to delete the code after the 45 min session.” I heard him but it was completely jarring. I have to delete the code? Funny enough, it becomes easier to wrap your mind about the concept the second time around.

One of the things I liked about code retreat was the low-pressure environment. It was more about challenging yourself as programmer to think about the problem in a different way in each session because there were new constraints each time.There is honestly something awesome about pairing with someone who doesn’t code in the same language as you because that is also a conversation in and of itself and you get to learn from each other in the process.

As it was happening globally, there also a webcam set up in the room so we could see two other locations during the code retreat. Every now and then, we give each other a wave during the breaks.