Katas all day long - a DomCode workshop report

Past Saturday we had guests! DomCode had an all-day event at our office where around 50 people would do katas in different programming languages. Let's have a look at what took place!

The Idea

During the day we rotated through four different small programming exercises called "Katas", with around one hour for each one. You were encouraged to "Spin the Wheel Of Languages" to randomize what language you were using. For all the languages there were coaches around that could help if you got stuck.

Here are the languages that were available:

Plenty to choose from! Once you've picked a language to hone your skills in, it's time to dive into the katas. The thing with a kata is that it doesn't matter too much what it exactly entails. What matters is that it allows you to focus purely on programming skills, instead of a subject matter problem.

Here's the ones we did during the day:

  1. Printing the lyrics of the song "99 bottles of beer on the wall", a classic kata
  2. OCR for ASCII Art digits (here's an online example)
  3. Converting text to Pig Latin (affectionally called a "language game" by Wikipedia)
  4. Scoring of Blackjack hands

As you can see, not as challenging as our day-to-day work. Or at least: I hope it isn't. Perfect for honing skills and learning a new language!

The Day

A picture says more than a thousand words! We started the day with an introduction by Ross:

Next we worked on the "99 bottles of beer on the wall" kata:

That got everyone warmed up, so we moved on to the OCR kata:

During lunch break our lovely downstairs neighbors from The Colour Kitchen brought us a meal...

While fighting the infamous after-lunch-dip, we continued with the Pig-Latin kata.

Oh, and we firmly believe in "celebrating your successes". So after all that hard work and learning it was obviously time for some drinks. (And possibly some bragging about how dirty, clean, weird, over-engineered, or plain and short your solutions were.)

It seems appropriate to close with a big "Thank You!" to the lovely people from DomCode. Their hard work (not only for this specific event, but for building a fantastic community) is what made this day possible and a great success! We had a lot of fun, and hope to do more cool events like this in the future!

Oh, and of course a big thank you to the attendees. You were great guests, there was a lot of enthusiasm and energy, and we were happy to have you!

See you at the next community event?

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