Last Friday the Sydney-based Confluence team headed out to world famous IT-suburb Manly for a one-day workshop to learn more about advanced JavaScript and JQuery, the JavaScript-library that Confluence will standardize upon. Obviously it was pure coincidence that the weather was fine, the coffee great and the beers cold, and we were positively surprised to find out that a nice beach was just across the road…

Upon arrival in Manly, Dmitry, our revered JavaScrip-guru and general CSS&Typography fanatic introduced us to the wonderful world of Script-Craft, which included closures, prototypes and loose typing. Being hardcore backend Java-developers didn’t exactly give us a big advantage here — our heads were spinning, but we did pretty well on the exercises. Or so we think. Would you know how to:

Add to any number the function "times" which will run some function N times.
(5).times(function () {alert(this);}); 

Click here for the full set of tasks [PDF]

The original plan was to squeeze in 6.5 hours of presentations and exercises on JQuery, but to be honest, we only got to 5 hours. Let me explain: I blame the weather! Huge clouds were beginning to show on the horizon, so we ditched our plans (agile!) and hit the beach right after lunch. When we returned to lessons, our energy levels were quite low after that, so after Matt’s presentation of JQuery, and another hour of exercises we called it a day, and headed straight for a cold beer in a nearby bar.



In the morning, everyone was still looking forward to a nice day on the beach. Little did they know of what was ahead…


… like Dmitry talking about Loose Typing in JavaScript. Yuck! 🙂


Never has the Confluence team worked as focussed as this. From left to right: Andrew, Agnes, Anatoli, Adnan (yeah, we try to hire mainly A-players), Don, Dave and Chris.

Matt talks on JQuery. The crowd pretends to understand it.


Matthew and Adnan walking down the esplanade, probably discussing the intricacies of product management.

Parts of the Confluence team returning from the surf. From left to right: Don, Andrew, Dave, Matthew and Anatoli.


David got the shortest straw and had to pair with Per. Per does what he is best at, and delegates all the hard work back to David.

Chris and Anatoli working on JQuery tasks

Next steps

I heard plenty of “when will we do this again?” We will aim at doing the next workshop in three months. I would suggest other teams try something similar as well. The planning overhead is smaller than it seems, especially if you have regular internal training every week anyway, and in the end we spent around $40 per person for the whole day — not much more than what we spend on our regular infamous post-release lunches.

JQuery, a beach and the Confluence Team...