Today turned out to be little coding and quite a bit of retrospective. I was able to pair with Nate Jackson for a little bit on the iPhone application that he’s working on.
I also tested a Webrat patch on a brand new Rails application via a cucumber test to wrap that up. Over some excellent Greek food, we had an informal retrospective. Here are a few notes from the discussion:
- The duration of the swap seems just about right. As Dave said, the law of diminishing returns likely kicks in after a few days or a week, and the cost of another week would likely outweigh the benefits.
- Kevin Taylor brought up the idea of more planning in response to my admission that I was a bit nervous Monday morning. The source of my nervousness was really due to not knowing exactly what to expect. I think that the lack of planning was actually extremely beneficial to the flow of the week. I was able to pair with many different people, and the flow between pairs was very organic and natural. Having a plan to follow probably would have changed this dynamic for the worse.
- The feeling that the swap was successful was unanimous. We all felt that we benefitted from my being onsite for the past week. I knew that I was learning a ton and having a great experience, but I was extremely happy to hear similar feelings vocalized by the Obtivians.
This was an absolutely fantastic experience. It gave me a chance to step away from client work for an entire week and explore new technologies, techniques and ideas, work with different people, and learn a lot.
I believe that both 8th Light and Obtiva have compared this time away from client work to spending a week at a conference. From my experience this past week, this was better than any conference I’ve attended.
Listening to speakers talk about new ideas is one thing; actually pairing with great developers and learning hands-on is in a different league.