Herding Code 109: Harmony Hackathon

This episode of Herding Code the guys talk to the organizers of the Harmony Hackathon: twelve developers coding madly for 48 hours, trying to build an application for the non-profit Harmony Hill cancer retreat center.

  • Eric talks about the Harmony Hackathon came together and what they were trying to accomplis.
  • Jon asks about how things were coordinated. The guys talk about how they managed the "organized chaos" of throwing a lot of developers in a room for 48 hours.
  • Scott K asks how a group of alpha geeks got past selecting an IoC container in a weekend, let alone write some code.
  • Jon asks for a rundown on the dependencies (Fluent NHibernate, Fluent Migrator, ASP.NET MVC 3, and some testing tools).
  • Hooray for build servers!
  • Discussion of machine.specifications and NUnit in order to test both high and low level code.
  • Scott K asks how much actually got done.
  • We talk to Vic to get the real scoop – sure the tech was cool, but did they build anything? How was it like to be the project owner with this kind of project?
  • Discussion of extremely short sprints – down to 30 minutes at the end! How do you handle Pomodoro length sprints?
  • We talk about Chewie, which adds some Bundler features to NuGet.
  • Scott K gets the rundown on psake (build automation in PowerShell) from Eric.
  • Scott K asks about what kind of interaction patterns they saw emerging.
  • Scott K asks about the future plans for this project.
  • Scott K asks why ALT.NET people would want to do something nice, and Jon mentions his mild surprise at the happy, friendly vibe he’d seen at the ALT.NET Seattle events he’s attended. There’s a discussion of the general spirit of the ALT.NET Seattle group.
  • Jon asks for lessons learned and recommendations for other people who want to put on a similar event.
  • Scott K asks about friction points with the tools the team selected.
  • Razor was one of the new things that none of the developers had used before. Jon remarks that learning Razor was kind of a non-event for him, and the guys agree.
  • Kevin asks about how the project lifecycle looks like when compressed to a 48 hour period.
  • Eric explains what Harmony Hill does, explaining why everyone was so motivated to help out. The guys talk about how it’s nice to go beyond talking about beautiful code and actually doing something.
  • Scott K asks if there were technological things the team would do differently in the future.
  • The Open Source Track at ALT.NET Seattle (May 5-8) is mentioned.
  • Coding alone? You must wear the Coding Solo Cowboy Hat of Shame.
  • Pimp your stuff time: Harmony Hill, ALT.NET 2011, Giles, Simple.Data
  • The guys ask Scott K when we’ll see the MVC generator thing he’s been working on.
  • Everyone loves Simple.Data.
  • Developers, developers, developers!
  • Woof, woof, woof!
  • Does anyone read these notes? I don’t think you do.

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Herding Code 109: Harmony Hackathon