Coderetreats: Reflective Practice and the Game of Life
David Parsons, Massey University
Anuradha Mathrani, Massey University
Teo Susnjak, Massey University
Arno Leist, Massey University
A coderetreat is an event where software developers gather to spend a day exploring their craft in an informal yet intellectually challenging environment. It encourages reflective practice by addressing a single programming problem from different perspectives, with multiple coding partners, freed from the daily pressures of deadlines and the need to deliver completed artifacts. This article describes an experiment in which a coderetreat was run with a group of final-year undergraduates studying software architecture. The authors gathered qualitative and quantitative data to explore the ways in which the activity contributed to the participants' reflective practice. The results suggest that coderetreats are an excellent vehicle for reflective practice in software development, providing a context within which multiple aspects of self-reflection and motivation can be developed. The Web extra at http://youtu.be/racyZfkbgnQ is an audio recording in which author David Parsons expands on the article "Coderetreats: Reflective Practice and the Game of Life," discussing how coderetreats can encourage self-reflection in software engineers.

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