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The IT management classic PeopleWare suggests organised "Code Wars" as a way to boost morale. Has anyone ever put this into practice? How did you do it?

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Can you explain more about what this is? Is it like a coding competition? –  Spacemoses Apr 5 '11 at 2:05
    
I thought of holy wars..., psst by the way, Vim doesn't give you RSI ;-) Now you say it, it deosn't seem to be about code though... –  Anto Apr 5 '11 at 4:06
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Possible reference ("Core war") –  l0b0 Apr 5 '11 at 15:35
    
@Spacemoses - yeah, pretty much a coding competition –  Craig Schwarze Apr 6 '11 at 1:09
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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Some sort of deep irony about a book that states controlled disturbance is good, but that interruptions reduce programming efficiency by a factor of three. People like predictable and safe change -- conflict is not safe or predictable. Competition must be externally focused, don't start a war in a team; or at least that's my opinion.

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The same thing occurred to me. I guess the context was meant to make it fun, rather than serious... –  Craig Schwarze Apr 5 '11 at 6:31
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We're running a Code War today and the response from the developers so far has been extremely positive. I haven't seen any negatives in this - it's like a fun baseball game between friends. The competition is enjoyable but it doesn't make anyone dislike others.

Update: Just completed another one - Windwardopolis - and it was a major hit with the student participants.

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That is very cool, well done! –  jlnorsworthy Jun 11 '11 at 3:44
    
Fantastic - well done David! –  Craig Schwarze Jun 15 '11 at 0:24
    
And we're sponsoring one at C.U. in 2 weeks - blogs.windwardreports.com/davidt/2011/07/… –  David Thielen Aug 13 '11 at 17:31
    
Having our second one today (see blogs.windwardreports.com/davidt/2011/08/…) and it's been a very positive experience. All C.S. students and they love it. –  David Thielen Aug 27 '11 at 22:01
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No personal experience, but a conference last year had a Snake competition, where you could program your own Snake to get as high score as possible. I'm not sure if this is what they used, but there seems to be a framework available

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