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So my colleague (and boss) has been inviting programmers from other companies to just come in and observe/pair with us for a day. We always learn something, and the "tourist" does too. It's exhilarating to hear about the things they like, and motivating to fix the problems they find. We call these visits Industrial Tourism. Anyone in the Philly area want to host or visit an Industrial Tourist company? Respond to this thread and maybe we can start touring!

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I'd be interested in being a tourist and seeing what I can contribute for a day.

--Fred
Looks interesting. I would be up for it. How involved is the "tourist"? Is it similar to what obtiva and 8th light did this summer (http://www.obtiva.com/news/2009/06/15/06-09-obtiva-and-8th-light-swap/)?
Yes, it's similar, though shorter in duration. The "tourist" gets involved as much as desired--from full-on pairing to stepping aside at times to ask why we're using what techniques. We also try squeeze in a mini-retrospective at the end of the day. Our tourists have had to take a vacation day from their real jobs, so they're not staying a full week like at Obtiva. We've also had discussions with other companies to see if they'd do a real swap, for upwards of a month, with no exchange in money or vacation days... it's just to be seen as an investment in understanding process at another company--but that's much more complex and hasn't happened yet.

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