I hope everyone is having a splendid holiday break. Just wanted to check in and do some planning for next year.
First off I'd like to change the meeting night to Thursday. Please let me know if that works for folks. I can pretty much do every night but Wednesday. My wife is going back to school and has classes on Wednesday nights. I check the Uncubed calendar and that day is open. Jake, does that work for you?
I've attended two code retreats and really like what I've seen. Being a bit of a language junkie I think it is a great format to learn a new language. Many people's issue with learning Clojure is getting over the initial hump. So for the first meeting I'd like to give a short introduction to Clojure then quickly split off into pairs. First round will be getting environments setup. Next session (or the first if both folks are ready) will be coding on a problem together. I was thinking about using LabREPL but I'm open to suggestions here. I'd like to get the whole group in sync on the same problem, I think there are advantages there. Again, I'm looking for suggestions. Three 1/2 hour sessions and that should do it for the meeting.
For our second meeting I'd like to do an installathon followed by an into to tools with a focus on Leiningen and Emacs. I'm thinking the into that Lee gave us last year worked great. Thoughts?
For the third meeting I'd like to dive in to something with substance but focus on a short presentation followed by group coding format. I hope to refine the format off of feedback from the first meeting. Wash, rinse repeat for the rest of the year unless someone has a presentation and they want to practice delivery before going in front of a larger group.
On a personal note I'm finally spending more time writing Clojure. Currently I'm working though the examples from the Mahout in Action book (Machine Learning) and tweaking the settings all in Clojure. I have Emacs setup nicely, getting comfortable with ParEdit and executing code via Slime/Swank. It's an awesome setup.
I'm also spinning my dad up on Clojure. He's retired so he's in no rush. I'll be happy to share my progress with the group.
I'm currently on the docket for three presentations at the beginning of next year. I'll be speaking on Machine Learning for the Colorado Springs Open Source Users Group in January, and the Denver Java and Open Source Users Group in February. Right now I plan to feature all code in Clojure and hope to find an area where Clojure offers a huge advantage over Java. We'll see how far I get!
Here are a few topics I'd like to see more of (or make take myself) for next year:
Expanded polymorphism and the expression problem
Core Logic (this would make a great lab)
In order to balance beginner vs. experts I'd like to take the first two/three months of next year to bring everyone up to speed before diving into the advanced stuff. I'm also open to a beginner first half followed by and advanced second half. My goal is to bring the group forward. I plan on doing some promotion for the group and would like to share that we'll have a strong track for next year.
Please let me know what you think, this is our group and I could use some help with the planning.
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