XP Manchester

XPManchester XL – Follow up

with 3 comments

Yesterday XPManchester ran a full day session at the ever accommodating Madlab. It was an intense and tiring day but I for one loved every minute of it. 14 local(ish) people gave up their Saturday to deliberately practise several aspects of XP. There were a mix of main programming languages amongst the attendees, but the majority (which may surprise some) were .NET C# developers by day.

  1. Ashley Moran
  2. David Toon
  3. Daley Chetwynd
  4. Edward Saxton
  5. James McDonald
  6. John Nolan
  7. Kirsty Busfield
  8. Mark Kirschstein
  9. Mathan Raj
  10. Martin Rue
  11. Mike Dickens
  12. Robie Basak
  13. Ryan Roberts
  14. Sophia Kouisidou

Morning Sessions – Conway’s Game of Life
Three sessions – 45 minutes + 15 minute retrospective

Pairs would swap at the end of each session and attempt to solve the problem from a different angle. One (perhaps interesting) thing to note was that every pair’s first instinct was to solve the problem starting with the cell.

Afternoon Sessions – Checkout Kata
First session – 70 minute implementation
Second session – 45 minute refuctoring
Third session – Refuctoring show and tell. End of day retrospective

Best Parts

Almost  everyone who came agrees that the refuctoring session was a lot of fun and some of the ‘solutions’ people came up with would be inspirational to enterprise and mortgage driven developers everywhere. Once I round up some links to the code, I will post them up to the blog.

Parts to Improve

  • Working towards something during the day – A couple of people mentioned that they would like to have worked towards a larger goal throughout the day. We had plenty of ideas for something to do, the most popular being building some sort of AI to battle each other at the end of the day.
  • Leaving Madlab during dinner – This may have been a mistake. It meant that the we ran over the 1 hour budgeted for lunch and some things needed to be left out of the afternoon slot. Next time we’ll perhaps order something for delivery and host a couple of lightning talks to break things up that way instead.

Another XPMan XL?

Oh yes, definitely going to happen.


Once again, a big thanks to everyone that came, and especially to Madlab for  letting us use their space for free. Without them the event simply wouldn’t have happened.

John Nolan has also written up his thoughts on the day.


Written by Mark Kirschstein

January 16, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Three sessions’ worth of Game of Life in Ruby from the morning are up on Github:


    (Each session is in its own branch).

    Ashley Moran

    January 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm

  2. […] on this year, XPManchester hosted its first all day event at Madlab. This month sees the follow up […]

  3. […] 2011 we held 3 full day events, a code retreat on #GDCR11 and two XPMan XL events – which worked a bit like a mini code retreat but with different activities in the […]

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