Lessons learnt from my first workshop

The workshop

I drove a small workshop about BDD for the Madrid Software Craftsmanship meetup. It was a great experience. I learned a lot in the process so I wanted to recap my experiences.

The outcome

Basically it was horrible. I prepared a huge range of exercises and due to many reasons we could only do one that was not the most important one.

Lessons learnt

  • Exercises in a workshop must be self-contained. You should not rely on what you speak but what people sees in their screens. There were more people than expected in the workshop and I could not spend almost no time with each of them.
  • Let everybody go their own pace. Everyone deserves to have fun. A nice way of having all the people 100% involved is proposing a challenge of their level. If somebody needs less time to go through the simplest examples he should be able to do so to get to the more challenging ones.
  • Prepare less but prepare right. Conversation will arise.
  • A coding workshop has no need for a presentation excepting maybe for some small introduction. You will spend a lot of time speaking to people and trying to solve problems they may have. Also, you can find time to ask questions to some of the groups in the workshop.

Was everything horrible?

I suppose not. Some people approached me after the workshop and said that they learnt a lot.

Also, the discussion after the workshop was pretty interesting. The practical exercise was a cool excuse to start working about scenarios where all what we did before could be applied.

Do I want to repeat?

After the traumatic experience... of course I do! Indeed it was a good experience. Also I see that I have a lot of room for improvement here and I want to walk that road.