Finally my Journeyman tour started last week. My first host was Raphael Stary from letsplay.io, a fresh startup creating the next level of social games. The "next level of social games" sounded like a mixture of FarmVille and World of Warcraft ;-) - playing with your friends using your mobile phone - hot stuff! Raphael was very kind and it was a great experience. After some initial chitchat he revealed his plans for me: to use my Java skills for creating the server side component of his newest game. We spent three days pairing intensively and I was happy with our result, an almost complete back-end including integration tests. All the discussions about the domain and the technical details of browser based games sparked the idea to create my own game. I used to code little games many years ago and had forgotten the joy of doing so. Maybe I will create something small after my tour when things have settled down again.
Being in Sektor5, a relaxed local coworking space, I took the opportunity to visit another startup, Blossom, a lean Kanban board. Blossom was founded a few years ago, and after winning some funding they mainly operate in the San Francisco area now. Blossom has customers from companies like Twitter or Google, an impressive feat for a Viennese startup. Blossom CTO Nik Graf paired with me for two days. He showed me their impressive technology stack and I saw many technologies I had never seen before, probably too much to digest in two days. I enjoyed the atmosphere of a real technology startup. Rock on guys! (I confess I am a Blossom fan boy now, just like half of the coworking space ;-)
During my tour I plan to visit as many user group meetings as possible. The Vienna Ruby Group meets in the same coworking space and I squeezed myself into the agenda and introduced the Ruby enthusiasts of Vienna to the idea of Software Craftsmanship and the Journeyman Tour. After the presentations we had a great discussion about craftsmanship, pair programming, and quality in general. I liked talking to passionate developers and will attend future meetings as well.
Last week was a blast. I learned a lot both about our craft and myself. My journal is full with notes and findings, which I will share in shorter posts in the next days.