We had our first Code Review & Pairing event this past Tuesday, June 12 and I think it was a great success! We had 34 people join us at DevMynd to meet with a Mentee or a Mentor and discuss code review feedback and have a short pairing session.
We received a lot of great feedback both during and after the event. I want to share what we’ve learned and what we’ll be improving for our next event on Tuesday, July 10.
We started with some announcements as well as a micro talk about pair programming, the driver/navigator pair model, and basic pairing etiquette. We will continue to include micro talks to kick off our events but will limit all talks/presentations to the first 15 minutes of the event.
After reading out the Mentor and Mentee pairs as an easy way for people to find each other, we realized that space was a little bit limited. We had more people than I originally anticipated for the event so we had pairs break off and use DevMynd’s conference rooms for their session. This worked great as the noise factor of having so many simultaneous pairing sessions in one room hadn’t occurred to me. While there isn’t much we can do about a noisy space, it did make me realize that having pairs separate is not a bad thing and will help to expand the locations able to host our events.
The pairing sessions were lively and I received a lot of great feedback from the Mentees about how much they learned and how excited they are for future events. From the conversations that were shared with me, topics covered included the importance of version control, code smells, state management, managing 3rd party dependencies, debugging, and more.
“I’ve only gotten to interact with one mentor so far, but he was just the profile I was hoping for: super experienced in the framework, really passionate about helping, made us feel comfortable, challenged us to prioritize, etc. I would say overall the event well exceeded my expectations.”
I did receive feedback from some Mentors that the purpose of the pairing session and how it related to the code review was confusing. We’ve updated our website copy and event descriptions to be more clear about what to expect and have provided an agenda for future events.
- 6:00pm Announcements and micro talk
- 6:15pm Split into pairs
- 6:20pm-7:25pm Pairing session
- (Suggested) 6:20pm Mentors and Mentees review code review feedback
- (Suggested) 6:40pm Mentors and Mentees pair program and start working through suggestions from the code review feedback
- 7:25pm Final announcements
Overall, I couldn’t be happier with how our first event went and how enthusiastic our attendees were. We couldn’t have a community without our Mentors and Mentees and I’m overjoyed to have so many amazing people join us.
Changes we’re implementing for July 10
- The event registration process has changed to make it more clear for attendees and easier to manage on the administrative side. We’ll be using Google Forms instead of Meetup due to the challenges Meetup presents. There is still a Meetup event, but without open RSVPs.
- We’ve included an agenda with event registration to make it more clear what to expect.
- We will be asking the Mentees to provide code as well as an explanation about what topics or area of the code they are looking to improve.
- We’ve updated our website copy and event descriptions to be more clear about our event format and to explicitly call out that the purpose of our Meetup is for personal development.
- We’ll provide name tags.
- We will have food.
Special thanks to Andy Lester, Keanan Koppenhaver, and Dan Rumney for having a postmortem discussion with me that helped drive this blog post