The kata in the hat

Xebia, Hilversum / 02-03-2011

'This session is to programming what "waiting for godot" is for the theatre, funny and magic' - feedback on Kata in the hat at XPDays Benelux 2010.

Programming is insanely hard. It’s about discipline. It’s about going to your Coding Dojo week after week and learning your katas from inside out. It’s about overcoming the fear that you might actually write something very buggy in a piece of software that will cost its owner several millions of euros. Programming, however, is also fun. And while we do talk about it, we seldom do code for fun, just as a celebration of how much we love our coder’s life.

This session is an attempt to change this. We’re going to code for fun. With the secret hope that some of the attendees will like what they’ll see, decide it’s the coolest thing to do, and make it happen everywhere on the planet.

Designing the session, we have especially had in mind the coders who’ve been around for a year or two, and who may be deciding they’d rather be managers. We also have in mind the IT managers who might have lost touch with their inner programmer. Actually, we’d like to have with us any person who has the intuition the act of coding is a miracle in itself, but doesn’t know how to articulate it, or fears they might be wrong to have such intuitions.

In the session, we will focus (hard) on performing a kata for the pleasure of the audience. This time, we’ll focus on inspiring and creating - rather than on pedagogy. The big idea we want to get across is that programming can be beautiful, and that through creativity and beauty and poetry programmers have much more power than they think - much like the teen playing guitar and not knowing yet they’ll be a rockstar. The session will be a success if attendees find what we’re doing cool enough that they want to do it themselves at home.


Emmanuel Gaillot works in Paris at /ut7 (a subsidiary company of Pyxis Technologies Inc.) as a team coach, facilitator, (extreme) programmer and systems jiggler. He helps software makers to be better at, prouder of, and happier about the work they produce. A regular speaker at many conferences on Agility, Emmanuel also organizes the annual Agile Open France conference. He is one of the founders (and still assiduous member) of the Coding Dojo in Paris. Emmanuel currently devotes his energy and passion in suggesting others it’s actually cool to be good at programming.



Polyglot, test-infected, a regular at the Paris Coding Dojo, Jonathan Perret is a programmer at heart. After ten years of experience as a software developer - and before that, many more as a computer tinkerer -, he now freelances looking for every opportunity to practice, share and teach the joy that programming brings.


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