We’re experimenting with finding the right format for informal after-work tech gatherings.
The purpose is to have people engaged and contributing to an actual delivery, rather than just listening to a presentation.
We call it CoDe Café because we strive to master Continuous Delivery. We want to be able to develop software, that has quality built in - as opposed to glued on. And we want to be able to do it small bite-sized chunks that are …well; delivered continuously.
Imagine an unconference combined with a world café with the same purpose as a hackaton leaning on paired programming demonstrating continuous delivery - all in just one evening.
The format of our gatherings
The format that we’re inviting to is not new, in the sense that it’s never been tried before, but we will try develop and optimize it to fit the following constraints:
- It can be run as either a two, four or eight hour event
- The settings are in a café (like) environment
- It’s a workshop - so we will produce and deliver something
- The outcome will be Open Source (M.I.T. licensed)
- The required infrastructure is setup in advance
- Participants will have to prepare themselves (5-30 mins)
- It can be a series of concurrent but distributed event
- It can be a series of event that build upon each other
The tech world is experiencing a boom in conferences, meetups and gatherings. It’s really cool and fun. But as everyone of us spend more time on community events we start to wonder; how we can ensure that the gatherings has value and high quality.
The approach that we’re looking for is founded on the discovery that having an evangelist on a pedestal talking to tired faces on a late afternoon actually isn’t much of a community, and the success of this approach is entirely dependent on the quality of the speaker’s potential - if it’s boring, you’re trapped!
We don’t see community as just another buzz work. We want to take it serious and actually form and nurse that community. We want to achieve only two things; we want to enjoy ourselves while we’re together, and we want to take something with us when we’re done.
We believe, that when we meet as a group, we don’t necessarily need an evangelist or speaker. We’re all engaged, knowledgeable and interested individuals. If we combine our knowledge and produce something that encapsulates and distills that knowledge - then we’re in good shape. That’s the unconference part of it; There might be an event host, but there isn’t a leader or a presenter.
We will create that thing together and everyone will take it home and be able to use it. We imagine that the thing essentially is a collection of useful snippets - code or content - that can serve as inspiration not just for the participants, but for everyone who’s interested in the topic.
During the cafe, we will produce code and content, just like at a hackaton. We will even make sure, that the code can actually run and we will write content that is actually useful and published, that’s the continuous delivery aspect. The outcome is useful immediately, and we can add to it and improve it later - simply by inviting to a new café.
Before we actually meet the community have jointly prepared and groomed a set of tasks broken don’t to manageable sizes: small, medium and large, reflecting something that can be done in either 2, 4 or 8 hours
The surroundings are cosy and inspiring. Think back on an enjoyable evening in good company with friends or colleagues;
You’re in a cafe, you just had a good meal and maybe a beer or two, everyone is engaged in the discussion, you’re drawing on napkins and table cloths. Your friends and colleagues are all drawing on the same napkins and table clots - it’s like paired programming . When you leave, you take the napkin with you, because it captures the essence of all the ideas you shared, distilled into something useful and inspiring.
We want to set the scene to a real cafè like this.
Making up the story as we go
Potentially CoDe cafés in the same scope or community will build upon or correlate to each other, some may even run in parallel at the same time, hacking in the same repository. Together we will combine all our skills and knowledge and put together a process, a method, a tool-stack, a manual - well, a thing.
And it will be yours too.
We will initiate the thing together, then use the thing to expand, refine and evolve the thing that will eventually become the manifest of a Software Development DORITH approach (DORITH = DO the RIght THing).
We don’t know exactly where this will lead us in the end, but we imagine that over time we will be touching on everything Continuous Delivery and DevOps related. We will take offset in the Continuous Delivery Maturity Model which itself is a moving target that evolves over time.