How to Run a Code Dojo

Code Dojos are a fun way to share knowledge between developers. The playfulness and intellectual sparring increases a development team’s ability to generate common mental models for products and processes.

Set a duration for the Dojo such as an hour. Select a task that should be finished in the allotted time. Use judgement to determine the task based on the experience of all involved.

Players work in pairs mixing levels of experience.

Each pair takes 10 minutes to plan, code and review a small piece of work of the overall task.

Pair programming is done using one machine that is connected to a large screen so the other players can see the code


Code Dojo Seating Plan

Timekeeper gives a set of instructions along the lines of: “Develop a Google graph that shows data extracted
from MarkLogic instance http://lngoxfappd006v:8006/”

Red Pair in position 1 will do pair programming: 2 heads, 4 hands, 1 machine.

Each pair session should follow a template like the one below.

  1. Mins 1 – 2: Discuss approach in voices loud enough for others to hear – but no louder.
  2. Mins 3 – 7: Code as much as possible!
  3. Mins 8 – 10: Group discussion on why approach was taken and any Qs about style.

At the end of 10 minutes each pair moves counter clockwise (2 > 1, 1 > 4, 4 > 3, 3 > 2).

Repeat steps until task is done or time runs out.