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With the goal of lessening barriers to the learning of
advanced programming techniques, we put into place a trial which required students to get involved with online communities of programmers. Using a course assignment on software architecture styles, students had study a problem, find basis for a tentative approach, and discuss it online with programmers. The expectation was that students would find motivation for their studies from both the contact with communities of programmers, and from having to study and reflect upon their problem well enough to be able to draw the interest of members of those communities. We present the strategy we used, the developments and outcomes, and ideas for further application of this approach.
Paper presented at IEEE EDUCON - Engineering Education 2012, Marrakesh, Morroco.