Todd Sedano

Software Engineering, Improv, Craftsmanship

Software Engineering Craft (or Software Engineering as a Performance Art)

Experiment with full time students this summer to explore this topic.

In a language and framework of their choice, have students select a short project to build, ie a blog website, or twitter client mobile application. Include testing. In the first session, build the project. (Time it.) Repeat again. Repeat again. Repeat again. After each session reflect on what you learned. Was there insights about the IDE? Where there key command short cuts? Do your test cases get better from defects from previous sessions, or do they get worse because of short cuts? Is there an aspect of the technology that you are deficient in that requires additional practice? (Katana example) Look for trends across the student population.

Based upon trends across the student population, identify further areas of practice.

Try same experiment with paired programming.

http://github.com/edgecase/ruby_koans

Inspiration: improv – learning scene work or singing a song from scratch. Take an impossible task and break into small concrete steps. Slowly build upon the steps to reach the goal. Sometimes explore the concept of each step with positive and negative examples.

Inspiration: Katana for TDD

Inspiration: Learning to play the piano. Strength building exercises. The whole point of the exercise is to build up . Much like dance where there are patterns, technique and skill aspects to a class. The patterns make learning dancing fun and motivate the student to keep going. Playing a song is rewarding. Working on skill is tedious but makes the fun stuff more accessible and easier to accomplish.