Computing Thoughts

Bruce Eckel's Programming Blog

Oct 9, 2016 - 3 minute read

Notes from The Elm Developer Retreat

This Developer Retreat was held Oct 6-9, 2016. So far the consensus seems to be that Thursday-Sunday is best, because Monday is often a big meeting day at companies (and taking two days at the end of the week is within tolerability). At peak, we had six attendees including myself; on the weekend we had two students from Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.

There will be another retreat directly following the Winter Tech Forum.

  1. We all agreed that developer retreats are great, and we will continue doing them and evolving the format.

    A. For one thing, it’s much, much easier to figure things out in a group.

  2. This is the second themed retreat (versus the very first un-themed retreat after the last Winter Tech Forum), and the themed approach is definitely a winner.

  3. We all agreed that Elm is amazing and none of us ever want to write Javascript again (to be honest we already didn’t want to write Javascript anymore).

  4. On the first day we went through The Pragmatic Studio Elm Videos, which are out of date from 0.17 (he’s working on an updated version which I will happily get), and we found this an excellent way to get everyone up to speed. When we ran into problems we stopped the video and figured them out. We also stopped and fixed the example code to make it work with 0.17, and that was a great exercise as well.

  5. For support, the Elm site directs you to the Elm Slack Channel and this was indeed very helpful. One person there even gave me a starting point for my “grid of squares” problem.

  6. The slack channel directs you to the FAQ.

  7. Chromecast is a great way to work in groups to go through and explain code.

  8. There are a lot of useful resources for learning Elm. I’ve captured a number of them, along with the link to our Github repository, at the bottom of this post.

  9. We tried Google Spaces. It’s nice and easy but has a number of drawbacks compared to Slack that were show-stoppers for us. So at the Winter Tech Forum we’ll continue using Slack, unless something better shows up in the meantime.

    A. Messages can only be 170 characters.

    B. You can’t do code snippets like you can in Slack.

  10. Someone on the Elm Slack channel suggested that there be some way to allow remote participation, even if it’s just to set up a dedicated Slack channel. In the past I’ve also had requests to set up a web cam. This merits investigation.