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Memories of a Functional Afternoon

Last year, well just three weeks ago in the middle of December 2013, in Thoughtworks Ecuador we had a functional afternoon worth remembering. But as fragile as memory is, I will try to focus on the pictures and not so much on the words.

It all started with a great view of a sunny afternoon from the big meeting room in the office.  Around 3 p.m. people started to arrive in the expectations of writing functions and having some fun while at it.

As we reached quorum we had a short activity to wake fully up and get in the mood for solving problems and we were ready to start.

It all begin with an introduction to functional programming by our Brazilian superstars from Thoughtworks Brazil, Pedro Leal and Erick Pintor, who flew over to show us some of their functional magic.

After a few examples the audience divided into two groups and the dojos begun. Both groups would run two-hour sessions with Scala before gathering together to check on progress and move to the next language.

First Scala retrospective intended to make the next dojo, with Clojure, much more enjoyable and profitable to everybody.

After making sure we knew where to fasten and where to loosen, the gathering mixed and divided in two groups again and went back to pair and coding some functions. Super cool thing to notice was that many women attended the event. 

Then, a final round of retros…

… and time to say goodbye.

The retros recipe.

The fun retrospectives were planned with the help and guidance of the best man for the job: Paulo Caroli. The driving idea was to improve the second dojo from the experiences gathered in the first one, and, what would be good for a next event.

So, to begin the day we first untangled ourselves. A nice energizer for kind of big crowds.

After the first dojo we checked what we learned and what we achieved. Also looked at the problems we had and what should change for the next dojo. This lead us to FLAP activity: Future direction, Lessons learned, Accomplishments and Problem areas.

Once the second dojo was finished we wanted to know what would people like to have next time we have this event. So, we asked them to write a message to the future. The timeline for the “Functional afternoon II” had the most inventive and fun messages, like “I won’t fear the parentheses anymore."

Then, we wanted to show our gratitude to the attendants with a little souvenir, a token of appreciation. By the way, thank you Thoughtworks Porto Alegre UX team, especially Gabriel Albo, for the awesome logo!

And finally a short survey to know if the time people spent with us that afternoon was worth it. Feedback and ROI resulted in people actually liking the functional afternoon.

Hope to see you all next time!

Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.

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