What is a coding dojo?
All our engineers hung out at the Power Plant and worked on a project together for a day. From the image you can see the simple goals of the dojo: team building, learning new technologies, and building something. We started with a quick overview of the project and then broke into pairs for some engineering fun. There was plenty of new technology to choose from and we focused on JHipster (a starter kit for modern responsive apps), Cassandra, APIs, and the ELK stack. Ippon is a proud supporter of the JHipster project, and we recently extended our Datastax / Cassandra Big Data partnership to the US.
Was it all smooth?
Not quite. We had some issues moving around the huge virtual box image file to get everyone started. Some of the stories were not quite detailed enough. And some of the stories were a bit large for a single day. We faced a steep learning curve trying to make style changes and running grunt from the right place. But we all hung out at the same table and worked through all the issues helping each other along the way.
But did we learn something?
Heck yeah! Everyone who participated learned something new. Granted one day only lets you get your feet wet but it was a good introduction and it helped being able to apply what we learned to a project that same day. And, best of all, it got the engineers excited about the new technology and interested in pursuing it post-dojo.
Are we going to do it again?
Yes, of course. The cultural benefits are enough but we also get to build something that may become valuable. Does this sound like something you want to do?