A home for training

It has been quite for a while on our web site. This is not because we have been idle - we have been busy finding the ideal location for balanced trainings. Today we are excited to share what we have found and are preparing for an exciting programme starting in April 2015.

Training location

The seminar house Castillo San Rafael is located in La Herradura at the Costa del Sol in Andalucia.

Castillo San Rafael sits above the Bay of La Herradura with its village of stepped alleyways towards one end. Almuñecar is the main local town along this part of the Costa Tropical or Costa Granadina, the Coast of Granada, with the capital city 50 miles inland, where Granada is framed by the highest mountains of the Iberian peninsular, the Sierra Nevada. This view of the City of Granada crowned by the Alhambra, capped by the shimmering snowy peaks, is not a manipulated picture, but what you see from nearly every view of the City.

Our training home

Granada is less than an hour’s drive, and Malaga an hour to the west making arrivals at Malaga Airport an easy 55 minutes away, where once it took four hours on the old coastal road, though still a beautiful corniche drive between La Herradura and Nerja.

Nerja lies to the west of the Sierra Almijara mountain range, which rise from the next valley to San Rafael, modelling our entire coastline into interesting smaller and larger bays as the Sierra dips its fingers into the Mediterranean.

La Herradura means the Horseshoe and is named after our one mile wide horseshoe shaped bay.

From San Rafael, as the crow, or seagull, flies, the bay is seen just a mile away, though a little more than two miles by the winding road or the alternative hill tracks. This unique part of the coast is protected by a ring of mountains to the north, west, and east creating a microclimate in the fifteen miles of the coast from La Herradura to Salobreña, and hence the name, the ‘Costa Tropical’. This is also the well-known sub-tropical fruit growing region specialising uniquely in Chirimoyas sold under the Costa Tropical label.

Though called the Costa Tropical because of our sub-tropical fruit production such as avocadoes, mangoes and the exotic cherimoya, we do not have a tropical climate. It is not insufferably hot with tropical storms, nor do we have monsoon seasons.

In summer we enjoy average midday shade temperatures of 28ºC.. We do not suffer heat waves, but a hotter day may reach 30 or 31ºC., but not the temperatures of inland Spain of up to 40 – 45ºC., as in many southern European countries also. Early morning temperatures in Winter might only be 10 – 12ºC. This soon rises to a normal average of 18 – 20ºC, though a good day can reach 22 – 24ºC. More important than the shade temperature in Winter is the temperature in the sun, which is almost always very pleasant.

Trainings for 2015

Our training programs last 7 days with arrivals on Sunday afternoon and departures on the next Sunday. This gives us the time to start each day with a Yoga class and a breakfast we take together on the central plaza. After breakfast we continue with a lecture followed by a light lunch.

In the afternoon we usually have 2 more lectures or exercises and close the day with a Yoga class or meditation.

In the evening we share a mediterranean diner and enjoy the a pleasant evening outside. For hardcore techies we can provide exercises or have a week’s hackathon working on a small ongoing project.

Diner about to be served

On Wednesday we’ll skip the lectures and enjoy a day off. The unique location allows us to choose from a variety of options:

  • A day on the Mediterranean Sea on board of a sailing boat.
  • A day’s introduction to diving
  • Visit Granada and the Alhambra
  • A trip to the home of Sherry in Jerez de la Frontera
  • and many more

Scala for Developers

This course is targeted at developers who have some experience in some other language than Scala. In the course we will introduce Scala as a programming language with a special focus on the functional capabilities of Scala. We will approach the language by turning procedural style algorithms into their functional equivalents.

On our way we will have a look at the Scala Ecosystem and the tools surrounding the language so that at the end of the week participants not only have an understanding of Scala but also how to set up a project in their own infrastructure.

In detail we will discuss:

  • Introduction to Scala
  • Why is Scala the Scalable Language ?
  • Functional design patterns
  • Testing
  • SBT vs. Maven to build Scala projects
  • Embracing Scala in existing projects (and why should you care ?)

Introduction to Akka

You have already a good understanding of Scala and want to understand the actor based concurrency model that is behind Akka ? - Then this course is for you. We will work through a small yet not trivial example introducing the concepts of Akka and at the same using them in practice.

We will have a special focus on testing concurrent programs built with Akka and investigate design patterns that make reasoning about concurrent programs a walk in the park. The examples for this course are taken from an ongoing project that we have built on Akka since 2012.

Participants will be able to use Akka in their own projects and integrate the concepts with their own tool chain.

Using Docker, Scala & Akka for Integration Testing

In this hands-on course we use one of our ongoing projects for an introduction to Docker and a Scala based API that is subsequently used within integration tests of a distributed application.

In particular we will:

  • Introduce docker
  • Set up docker on the development machines
  • Learn how to encapsulate distributed modules in Docker images
  • Learn how to combine various docker instances into a environment under test
  • Discuss design patterns for integration tests
  • Review pitfalls prohibiting integration tests from running in a CI environment
  • Discuss how to selectively run integration locally within the development cycle

Team breakouts and Hackathon’s

If you are a team up to 16 people and are looking for a nice place to have a team breakout or a hackathon, San Rafael is just the place. We provide the same accommodation and program as within our trainings while you enjoy your technical breakout at a unique location.

As an add-on we can participate in your breakout and throw in experience from more than 20 years in consulting.