Teams of 2-5 people develop a poker robot in any of the supported languages. Every time a team pushes to its own git repository, the new code is deployed to production.
Every few seconds the robots are playing rounds of Texas Hold'em Poker. To finish first at the end of the day the team needs to make sure that their robot collects more points than other bots.
The main goal is not to win, but to learn. In this simulated environment teams need to deliver value in short time frames, which is a great opportunity to experiment with agile and lean practices without risks.
Lean poker is the evil twin, “evil mini me” of Coderetreat. So Coderetreat: you go and spend a day writing beautiful code with a pair and learning stuff, and TDD, and clean code and SOLID. Lean poker is this: you and a squad of people (there’s like 5 of you) are going to make a bot that plays poker. Every two minutes, like clockwork, the game plays. If you win you get 5 points, if you come second you get 3 – the WHOLE Day.
Apparently it’s quite intense. There’s some fairly ugly code that wins. But there’s also some fairly ugly code that looks like it’s winning but suddenly they get tripped up. Great story!
One of the Lean principles is to maximise learning and I must say I learnt a lot at this event. I learnt new techniques from my colleagues and it was fun to get to know each other outside of work. I also learnt from how we worked and got things done under competitive pressure where the deadline isn’t an arbitrary date but rather ASAP. One of the most useful things I learnt was that you really can get things done extremely fast if you have sufficient testing to let you move forward boldly without breaking things and if you skip everything which is not directly helping, like discussions about an ideal way of solving a problem that needs to be dealt with immediately. Having the safety net of tests also lets you learn fast by trying out several different things and seeing what works.
(...) Lean poker is a fun way to practise lean principles and get to know people and I highly recommend it.
Lean Poker is an extremely competitive game. Teams instinctively seek out ways to improve their own productivity. The heat of a Lean Poker battle brings people closer together and teaches them great teamwork.
Lean Poker is a great opportunity to experiment with new techniques, and test their effects in practice. During the closing session of Lean Poker, teams discuss what they have learned and what they will try to use in practice after the event.
Agile practices like Test Driven Development are super useful in general, but they are not silver bullets. Finding a good balance between going by the book and just hacking away on the code is essential for winning.
Don't worry if you are new to programming, Lean Poker is a great place to learn from more experienced programmers. If you're able to implement a function in your language of choice, you're qualified.
If you don't know how to play poker, we will teach you the rules, they are really simple. If a team member has more experience in poker than the rest, he can take the role of the product owner.
Lean Poker is a workshop for learning, but it's not boring at all! Most people have crazy amounts of fun during the event. Even when they lose ;)
Lean Poker can potentially support any language that can respond to HTTP POST requests.
The logos link to the framework repositories.
The best way to make sure you'll get to a Lean Poker event, is organizing one. We can either teach you how to facilitate the event, or we have facilitators available, who can travel to your location.Contact us!
Lean Poker is a perfect team building activity. It is also a great way to introduce developers in your organization to Agile and Lean concepts, and to get a taste of Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment. To order a private Lean Poker event for your company, contact us via e-mail.Contact us!
If you subscribe to our newsletter, based on your location we will send you an e-mail whenever there is an event nearby. We will send you a very limited amount of e-mails.Subscribe now!
Yes, you can! You can pair up with someone or you can take a role that doesn't involve coding. For example if you are good at Poker, you can be the product owner.
Keep calm, your wallet is perfectly safe, no real money is involved in Lean Poker.
Every few seconds each robot gets 1000 free chips and chances are it will lose it all before you know it.
Absolutely not! Apart from that being strictly illegal in most countries, professional poker robots are developed for years. By the end of the 8-hour workshop your bot wouldn't even beat a real person who plays for the first time.