Attempting to start a kata pairing exchange at work. I might build something to help match pairs as a side project. I asked some questions about the best way to organise it here.
Outside of that, I’m considering writing some blog posts for my very quiet blog rob-bell.net. I’ve got a tonne of ideas in a list I’ve been expanding on for the last few years, it’s just finding the time to write.
So I was involved in something similar to this 2 or 3 years ago at our organisation, and it’s still running to this day. It turned into bigger dojos / workshops rather than explicit pairings, but there might be some lessons there that could aid you. I’ll summarise how that came together and you can see if any of it’s useful to you with the pairings idea.
I brought it up with my dev lead at the time, that I’d like to do something to encourage more code craftsmanship around this place. He got in contact with a few other dev leads / engineering managers and found me some like minded people. We had a few emails where we bounced around ideas / what we wanted to get out of it, and it turned into a list that replicates your reasons up there - talk to different engineers, see how they work, learn stuff.
So we agreed to start off with more of a dojo format, and put together a workshop around the minesweeper kata. We ran them semi-regularly (intended monthly, but turned into something resembling 6-weekly), and attacked a bunch of katas, as well as workshops on various patterns & techniques whoever was running the thing wanted to teach themselves (someone did promises, I did one on event sourcing, we recently had one on property-based testing). And it has kind of evolved as we went.
Some lessons that might apply to your questions:
Feel free to bother me on here / twitter / wherever if you need to know owt else.
Thanks, Si. This is some great advice. For manager buy in, listing these pairing sessions as objectives is a nice idea. I’ve not had much luck using Doodle for matching availability - do you do it on a pair-by-pair basis, or do you use it to find pairings within a group?
So we were using it more to figure when these bigger workshops would take place (my example was slightly different : dojos - kinda like collaborative coding workshops, so we create pairs in the sessions).
But I see no reason why you couldn’t use it to find people who were available on the same day and work from there. I guess it would work better for a group to identify the pairings, but it could be worked from the other side too.