Experiences from last year's Code in the Woods

Code in the Woods was definitely one of my last year’s highlights. It was nice for once to be able to work on the same project with the same group for few days in a row. The stressless atmosphere helped to talk about problems and solve them. Activities in the free time released the competitive tension.

The most concrete things that I learned was how to use Git feature branch workflow in a team project and how important trust is for efficient working. Showing interest towards each others’ work has a great influence in the atmosphere. This is not really possible over the internet. At the university group works are often done remotely or students reserve too little time reserved for them, which means that interaction between group members stays quite at the minimum. After Code in the Woods I have put more effort to being able to work face to face.

Before the camp, I was afraid that I would not have enough time to go there. However, I thought that this would be an amazing opportunity to talk with industry professionals about what kind of skills are actually needed in working life. At the stands in recruiting events the feeling is way too formal for learning tacit knowledge. And as it turned out, I got my first job in my own field through the camp.

Code in the Woods helped me to understand that there are three skills that are essential for an employee: social skills, desire to learn things profoundly, and the ability to get things done.

By good social skills I mean that you need to be a person that people like to be around everyday. You don’t need to be the chattiest and most outgoing person in the group, but not being annoying and obnoxious is very important.

Understanding things profoundly enables you to produce good quality code. It’s not enough to just to write as many lines of code per day as possible if other people need to be able to continue where you left off.

On the other hand, perfectionism can slow you down quite a lot. A good employee understands which details matter in the bigger picture.

I believe that these three characteristics apply for other creative work as well and not just coding.

Was it a good idea to go for a week long camp in the middle of everything else? Well, at least I was left with valuable teamwork skills, bunch of new friends, and more confidence with coding with other people.

Felix Bade,

Code in the Woods Junior Camp 2017