This year I've organized ABAP Code Retreat in Tychy for the second time. In this recap I want not only tell you about the event itself, but also about how the whole organisation of the event took place. If you'll read it to the end, you'll notice that it is not that hard :)
I've organized one such event before in 2017, when Christian Drumm was leading the whole event. I was very satisfied that 16 from 24 registered participants, so my expectations were that this time it will be more persons. I aslo knew exactly how much food and drinks I need for the event, what path of organisation to follow, but if you want to organize such event, then I'll point all needs and steps, so you can see if maybe you can organize such event also.
So starting from the beginning:
1. Get the support of your manager or the company to organize it.
Sounds trivial, but you'll need someone to say that you have budget for the event or to allow you to use the company buildings on the weekend, when usually the company is close and there are no security guards or receptionists on place.
And let's be honest, sometimes our companies spent a lot of money for the things you find not needed and with the organisation of such event in the company you give the company possibility to be visible on this hard employee market, that we see currently in most of the countries.
As previously, my company Hager Group, has given me a possibility to organize it in the buildings of the company, as well as I got all needed resources to prepare the whole event including food, drinks and gifts. I received also a help to organize the security and helping hand of our receptionist Kasia, who was working in the shadow to fill all coffee and tee cups and refill plates with food.
For this, I really thank Hager Group as without saying yes from the company side, it wouldn't be possible to organize the event.
2. Contact Damir Majer or Christian Drumm
Damir and Christian are founders of ABAP Code Retreat. They will help you to organize it or like it was in my case, they will help you to lead it (or even they will lead it for you). They are active on Twitter and LinkedIn, there should be no issues to catch them. I've been in contact with them since the previous ACR in Tychy, so we were sure we want to organize the next one. The question was only when. As Damir was coaching my team in the last months, then we've decided to do it on March, 30th so with the extension of the stay in Tychy for one day, he could run the event with me.
3. Prepare the menu for the snacks and lunch.
You know that's not really hard. It took me around 30 minutes to prepare the whole menu. I knew some snacks will be needed, so we have order sandwiches, fruits and some sweets. For the lunch, the easiest way is to order pizza, so I did it for the second time (as on the first event). Additionally for some strange persons like me, that don't eat pizza, I've ordered some salads.
If you eat, you also need drinks, especially for the programmers who changes the coffee into source code :) That's why, we've prepared also coffee, tea, water, juices and coke for everyone.
4. Prepare gifts (optional)
This step is of course not necessary, but I personally have a nice mood when I'm giving some gifts to the people. That's why I've prepared some gifts for every participant.
Maybe they are not luxury, but hopefully useful and not thrown into the corner or garbage after the event.
You have to provide somehow the registration for the participants. At first time I've use the Fiori app from SAP Mentors for that, but this time I've decided that it will be easier and better to use Eventbrite, which is free for free of charge event. You can setup there the maximum of participants per ticket type, as well as give some description and information about the event (which should be also visible on the Wiki page of your event).
There are few steps here, as an organizer, you have to provide an access to the Internet, so having the experience from last year, I've prepared 3 separate Internet connections for the participants. All of them were served with the Wi-fi.
But Internet connection is not everything. In case, that some of the participants cannot access the SAP system of his/hers company (or doesn't want to), I have prepared two instances of SAP Netweaver Developer editions on Google cloud. It was quite easy, because I had the tutorial from Christian Drumm, how to do this. Additionally it was free of charge, because, as I didn't used the Google Cloud before, I've received a free 300$ trial account for 1 year from Google. Setup of the one system takes around 7 minutes + waiting time for the activation of the servers. Really an easy job to do, but need.
After that I was ready to go.
ABAP Code Retreat in Tychy on March, 30th 2019 has started around 9:10 a.m.
We had in the agenda two knowledge sessions (An OO Approach that supports Testability and Clean Code and ADT Community Plugins) and the hands-on sessions about TDD.
Firstly Damir hit the stage with his Applied OO session. Everyone seems to be interested in his approach and the participants survived his session without issues :-)
Then I had a short slot for the ADT Community plugins, including ABAP CI, ABAP Code Fast Feedback, ABAP Favorites and ABAP Extensions. I hope that although I was doing more or less live presentation of my knowledge about the plugin, it was helpfull to see the plugins in action.
After that we've started the hands-on sessions that were focused on programming Tic-Tac-Toe but with usage of TDD methodology. Although TDD was not familiar to all of the participants, then still I think it went quite good, as with the mix of people knowing TDD & Eclipse and people not using this two were quite equal, so we could pair on the first session the more and less experienced people.
Each session took 45 minutes, which were running very quickly for the participants. You should see their faces when we were saying with Damir, that the session is over :-) Anyway we had few of such sessions. Each time as usual ,you had to change your partner, so the outcome of the work was always different. Also sometimes the participants were receiving different tasks, so it was not easy to be bored during that event. In total there were 4 hands-on sessions during the day.
Every of the session run under the careful eyes (and horns) of the two evil ABAP developers :-)
Each time you could see how intensively the participants were discussing with their partners about the way they shoudl program the solution.
And as you could see on the pictures bellow, we've got some diversity here - 25% of the participants were women!
We also took the "family" foto for the event. Including my own 3 devils, who had to play on X-Box, PC, tablet or mobile during the whole day... (Yeah, I know I'm awful father....).
I'd like to thank every participant that show up on that day (16 from 28). Although I've expected more participants to show up, I'm very satisfied from the work that you have done during that day and also from the networking that we've done together during the event.
I hope we will meet again in Tychy or any other place on the SAP Community event.