1. Are you planning to offer this online? Not everyone can afford to take time off to attend a hacker retreat.
2. How much does this cost?
Did you read about a 10-year-old who was complaining that calculus (integrals) was hard, but did them anyway thanks to Kahn academy? I think it's mentioned in one of his TED talks. If you don't know that something is too difficult, you may do it anyway.
My experience with say universities is that you get stuck in exercises for far too long. At universities you rarely get to the point of 'project' (unknown solution, creative work needed). At that point they call it research.
I think the weak spot of the Meerkat method is to find a way to keep mentors motivated. For data science retreat, mentors are paid, but they do it because they think it's the right thing to do too. In the wild, one would have to think about why the mentor will want to sit with the learner. One possible way is to let them own the results of the learner's work, and let them work on projects that the mentor had to do anyway. For example, chunks of a freelance job that the mentor had to deliver and could partially unload to the learners. For this, learners must be competent enough to ship production code; which puts even more pressure on both sides, but I think it's the right kind of pressure :)
This is how it worked in middle-age and Renaissance guilds. The master outsourced say 'painting of hands'. The learner did nothing but hands, and the master owned the final work.
Compare with deliberate practice of, say, a musical instrument - you wouldn't start with the way that the learner initially grasps the instrument and practice that approach (that'd reinforce bad habits, and create problems in future) - instead, they'd go through it with a mentor who'd indicate the failures and show what is the appropriate good form/posture to use instead; and then you practice that. Not try to find out that good form by exploring from your current bad one, but practice the appropriate thing from the very first day - and you likely couldn't tell the difference between the appopriate thing and a bad habit, if it wasn't shown to you. Which is similar to what the article advocates.
So i'm taking the active role in the pair programming, and showing rather than having them doing. At least they will have the reference afterward.
gitbook looks like a pretty nice way to collect all that knowledge though.