Coding Dojo

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Someone needs to take care of the practical details, ie things like

It seems to work well if one person is responsible for ensuring these things are done.

It seems to me that somehow the people at the dojo need to choose good Kata exercises to work on that are at the right level for the group. This is where I envision a KataCatalogue being helpful. The group also needs to decide who should present PreparedKata solutions and when to have RandoriKata meetings. The ParisDojo is, by all reports, very self organized on these points, and we’d like to hear more about how that works please :-)

Someone asked me if you need a MasterProgrammer or CodingSensei at a dojo meeting, and I don’t think so. You go to a dojo in order to learn with a group. Having said that, in my experience the group does need some guidance as to which Kata to tackle and then during the meeting it helps if someone moderates the discussion. Particularly if the people in the group don’t know each other very well. At a dojo you should meet as equals, whatever your job titles are during the day. I think it is every DojoAttendee ’s responsibility to keep the dojo going and growing and learning.

At the dojo meetings I have organized, my role has been moderator not teacher. In advance of the meeting I try to find a good Kata that I think will suit the group, based on my experience trying it with other groups and alone. Most of the sessions I have led so far have been RandoriKata style with PingPong pair switching. I try to keep the group focused on the kata in hand, curtail unproductive discussions, encourage shy people to contribute, nudge the group in the direction of the most interesting aspects of of the Kata in hand, and keep time.

Sometimes you have someone presenting their best effort solution to a kata, ( PreparedKata ) and then that week, that person is in a way setting themselves up as a master you are all trying to learn from. But that person also gets challenged by the group and should also come away having learnt a great deal. It shouldn’t be the same person presenting every time, everyone should try to take a turn. What does anyone else think? Is this what happens at your dojo meetings? – EmilyBache