The long way through Software Craftsmanship

TDD microexercise: Tire pressure

Mar 31, 2015 - 2 minute read - Comments - microexerciseprepared-katasessionscbcn

Yesterday, Manuel Rivero and I facilitated a workshop using the tire pressure TDD microexercise. (More microexercises can be found in this category, also here)

We scheduled the session as follows:

  • 10 minutes introduction to the exercise
  • 10 minutes to download the code and take a first look
  • 10 minutes explanation about the exercise, what the problem is, etc
  • 30 minutes for the attendees to explore the solution (on their own)
  • 10 minutes for commenting the explored solutions, comments about it
  • 40 minutes of prepared kata format
  • 10 minutes of final explanations, questions and answers (Q&A)

Total: 120 minutes or two hours, approximately

We decided that one would be mostly at the keyboard and the other mostly explaining. This allows for the speaker to introduce some concepts while the driver is performing a larger refactor / step.

Some of our own feedback:

  • Have the kata prepared, clear all your doubts before doing it live
  • Be very specific about the goal of the kata: the narrower the focus, the more we will learn
  • If necessary, exercise your shortcuts / practices one last time
  • Set up the font as big as needed. Even remove some whitelines (present in your usual code) so more text can fit in the screen.
  • It was very useful for us to have a small script of what we would perform: what was the idea, where to stop to explain things, etc
  • A prepared kata is a show (like a movie), so the dialogs between the performing pair are important. Do not be afraid to tell the reasons why you did this last refactor.
  • Answer the questions as you go, do not wait until the end of the session

Some feedback we received:

  • It would have been useful to do a recap at the end of the session, to refresh the most important concepts
  • In general the session was good, they were satisfied with the techniques shown there
  • The exercise was concise and small, perfect for two hours' time

Many thanks to all the attendees and to Manuel: I learnt a lot from the session and renewed my energies to keep doing these workshop sessions. Also thanks to Luca Minudel for writing these awesome exercises.

Books read in 2015Q1 Category: Flow