Geeks With Blogs
Mark Pearl


I recently heard of the concept of a Legacy Code Retreat. Since I have attended and helped facilitate some normal Code Retreats I thought it might be interesting in trying a Legacy Code Retreat, but I have a few questions on how a legacy CR differs from a normal one. If anyone has attended a Legacy CR and has some suggestions on how best to host these event’s please leave a comment on what has worked for you in the past or if you have any answers to my questions below…

Should you restrict the languages that people can do the sessions in?

In the normal CR’s I have been involved in the past we have had people attend and code in their programming language of choice. A normal CR lends itself to  this because each session starts with no code. With a legacy CR each session seems to start with an existing code base.

Is there some sort of limitation on the languages that people can work in during the sessions? If not, how do you give them a base to start from?

What happens as the beginning of each session?

In the normal CR that I have attended each session would have a constraint set on it – i.e. no if statements used, no primitives, etc. With a legacy CR it seems more like patterns for refactoring are learned.

Does the facilitator explain the pattern used before the session starts or are they just given a code base to start from and an objective to achieve

Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 12:02 PM Misc | Back to top

Comments on this post: Legacy Code Retreat Questions

# re: Legacy Code Retreat Questions
Requesting Gravatar...
The legacy code retreats currently use the code at

That has been ported to quite a number of different languages.

There are a few problems with that though. The example itself feels a bit suboptimal to work on for 6 sessions and I think Adi and Erik were trying to come up with a new example project. Also, some of the refactorings are very different between static and dynamic languages and that makes parts of the exercises a bit weird.

As for the second question. Initially JB came up with very specific refactoring patterns/exercises that he would explain between the sessions. But I think it can also make sense to mix some of the regular code retreat restrictions in there, too.

In general, the legacy code retreats are still fairly new and I feel less comfortable with them. But it's nice to mix up the normal code retreat format a little and actually have a base to start from.
Left by Daniel Temme on Aug 27, 2012 1:17 PM

# re: Legacy Code Retreat Questions
Requesting Gravatar...
I have nothing to add beyond Daniel's comments. I'm happy to see Legacy Code Retreat change from my initial ideas, and I hope people will experiment and tell /me/ how to make it better.
Left by J. B. Rainsberger on Aug 27, 2012 5:35 PM

# re: Legacy Code Retreat Questions
Requesting Gravatar...
I think the codebase on github has most languages that people are comfortable with, so that shouldn't be a problem.

As for the second question, Adi and I have tried to write down a couple of different session ideas, just like for the normal coderetreat. We are more than willing to share those ideas if you feel like running one. We are also always interested in coming over and co-facilitating your first legacy coderetreat if you want us to ;-)
Left by Erik on Aug 28, 2012 5:19 PM

Your comment:
 (will show your gravatar)

Copyright © MarkPearl | Powered by: