Backtick back from Codecation 2021
We've just arrived back at the office after spending a week coding on our annual hackathon get-away. This years Codecation took place at the foot of Sierra Nevada with beautiful surrounding nature and the skyline of Granada, Spain at the horizon.
The goal of Codecation is simple - allocate time to explore all ideas you don't have the time to explore while working at your full-time job. An that's exactly what we did.
Our goal as organizers has been to make sure that our participants have everything they need to focus on that single task. That means getting rid of all the obvious distractions such as cooking and house keeping while making sure to provide all necessary equipment - screens, good internet connection etc.
Having done Codecation for 4 years now, we've thought of a few new things to try, hoping it would enhance the experience even further. Here are a couple of things new for this years Codecation.
Many of the participants have never met prior to the event. They may come from different backgrounds or have experience within different fields. We encourage the participants to prepare a project before the event so that when they arrive, they have something that's reasonable to pull off in a week. This however resulted in people having their own projects, scoped for one person, meaning everyone wound up doing their own thing.
We believe that being part of a team yields better results and makes the overall experience more fun. That's why, this year the event was kicked off by project proposals. Each participant was able to present their idea in order to recruit others to join their team. This allowed the participants to think bigger and carry out projects involving elements they didn't necessarily know anything about. Most of all, it made people join ranks and do something together - making the experience much more enjoyable.
Coding for many hours straight is mentally exhausting - we as developers are well aware of the fact. To mitigate the effects of long sessions, we brought our own personal trainer to make sure we got enough exercise every day. This proved to be a good investment and the joint training sessions were appreciated by many participants.
It's easy to forget about the outside world while on Codecation - that's kind of the point. Nevertheless, we wanted to encourage participants to go out and explore the beautiful surroundings. That's why we organized two mountaineering hikes around the Sierra Nevada region.