Thornwood Workshop

BruceAnderson put together a workshop of mentored object oriented design for IBM. It was held at IBM's Thornwood education center May 24-28, 1993. It became an important part of the HistoryOfPatterns because of the impact it had on people invited to be leaders...

There was strong focus on reflection i.e. on learning from observation of what was happening, including what you were doing yourself.

We also had a NewGames facilitator (GeorgePlatts) over from England who did a marvellous job of keeping everyone loose. Making a YarnWeb at the end was a powerful finale.

We spent a week, did fun and amazing things, taught a lot, and learned a lot.

IBM didn't pay the mentors much, so they felt correspondingly free to act as they thought best.

Mentored Object-Oriented Design (by BruceAnderson - my notes on the event for a colleague)

52 participants, all with at least two years OO experience, 7 mentors (all from the Architecture Handbook group) and one games person. Residential (for pretty well everyone), 5 days long, at IBM Thornwood NY.

One large classroom with chairs only, for plenaries and games; one large classroom with chairs and desks for talks; 10 breakout rooms for design teams.

Group working; two orthogonal activities - 10 design teams of 5 doing designs aided by mentors (2 sessions per day), 5 writing groups of 10 (1 from each team) writing on topics relevant to the work (2 sessions in the week). Heavy focus on reflection, 40 minutes after (or interspersed with) 2 hours of design. Reflection on "what we learned", "what to do next" and generating material for the writing groups.

Presentations: one short plenary midweek, plus writeups and posters from each group and team on the last day.

Mentor talks: two one-hour talks per day.

Plenaries: twice per day, games and announcements.

Details: many other OOPS/Wizard touches e.g. everyone's photo and details on the wall, general bulletin board, funny caption competition.

Evaluation: very positive, the focus on reflection worked in that people saw that they were learning.

(Run for IBM Skill Dynamics in 1993; Chamond Liu and Katherine Betz)

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