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Organise a Code Dojo!
 

Organise a Code Dojo!

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Slides from my Europython2010 presentation on our experiences running the London Python Code Dojo.

Slides from my Europython2010 presentation on our experiences running the London Python Code Dojo.

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Organise a Code Dojo! Organise a Code Dojo! Presentation Transcript

  • Organise a Python Code Dojo! Nicholas H.Tollervey ntoll@ntoll.org Who am I? I was a musician and teacher before becoming a developer. This talk is introductory in nature Please interrupt and ask questions Tell you about experiences organising the London Python Code Dojo Encourage *you* to organise a dojo...
  • Organise a what..? (http://codingdojo.org/) What is a code-dojo? Dojo = safe place to practice. A place to make mistakes and learn. Terminology borrowed from martial arts / Zen Buddhism.
  • Invented here http://www.flickr.com/photos/anirudhkoul/3483995761/ Started by French dudes in Paris around December 2004
  • “Acquiring coding skills should be a continuous process...” http://codingdojo.org/ Very simple philosophy. I’d add that improving existing skills is also important.
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/19884852@N00/318274014/ Code Dojo = Deliberate Practice To improve one needs to practice...
  • These are old ideas...
  • ὁ δὲ ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/File:Socrates_Louvre.jpg Socrates (469-399 BCE) The father of Western philosophy... (2500 years ago)
  • The unexamined life is not worth living. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/File:Socrates_Louvre.jpg Socrates (469-399 BCE) i.e. it’s good to be in a continuous process of examination and re-examination
  • ί ό ἔ ὐ ά http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/File:Heraclitus,_Johannes_Moreelse.jpg Heraclitus (c.535 - 475 BCE) The original grumpy old man of ancient Greek philosophy...
  • Much learning does not teach understanding. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/File:Heraclitus,_Johannes_Moreelse.jpg Heraclitus (c.535 - 475 BCE) in other words... don’t just read the book. Go *do* something (practice!)
  • Parisian Dojo Rules start 2mins: organise next dojo 30mins: retrospective on last dojo 10mins: decide the topic for this dojo dojo 40mins: code (either “prepared” or “randori” kata) 10mins: half time break 40mins: code end (not to scale) What happens at a dojo? codingdojo.org sets out detailed rules for timing and conduct...
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/renfield/351557228/ Kata..? Kata - martial arts term meaning “forms” pre-specified / choreographed steps to be practiced again and again. Improves muscle memory.
  • Also think scales, arpeggios or Etude that musicians practice (again and again). Can be graded in difficulty and focus on particular “aspects” of a practice. Important to practice correctly - reflect with the aim of autonomy. In the code-dojo context we mean small, self-contained programming puzzles. Two mechanisms for doing Kata in the dojo...
  • Prepared Kata http://www.flickr.com/photos/foundphotoslj/466713478/ • A presenter shows how to solve the problem using TDD and BabySteps™ • Each step must make sense to everyone present • Only interrupt if you don’t understand what’s going on
  • Randori Kata pilot co-pilot happy to volunteer • Public pair programming using TDD • Each pair has a time slot • At the end the pilot returns to the audience, the co- pilot becomes the new pilot and a new co-pilot volunteers from the audience Randori means “chaos taking” - something like freestyle. Audience mustn’t interrupt - only co-pilot. Pilot gives a running commentary of their thought process.
  • What happened in London..? We’ve learned about the theory. What happened in practice..?
  • !"#$ #"%" Last August pub meet to organise a “randori” style dojo. Decided create a graphical representation of a social network based on data from Twitter.
  • Geeks actually socialising! Coding fuel Fry-IT provided free pizza and beer + location.
  • Code Good turnout About 25 people turned up. The rule for a time slot was 10 minutes or a passing unit test for each pair. This worked quite well...
  • But we didn’t know what we were doing and didn’t stick to the rules!
  • We only had Emacs or Vim available... vs ...and didn’t have a standard keyboard. The Twitter based kata sucked (too complex) :-( Only 6-7 people got a chance to pilot. Things we should have thought of in advance... :-(
  • We got it to work!
  • Other stuff that wasn’t supposed to happen...
  • Spontaneous applause for working code Audience participation Lots of discussion & debate A generally noisy time The original rules for a code-dojo are formal and limit the possibility of the audience from disturbing the pilot and co-pilot.
  • (actually, that was good stuff) In the discussion at the end we actually thought interaction was a positive aspect of the evening. We continued doing Randori based dojo until...
  • I want to do a presentation and get your feedback... Dave’s great idea... Dave had a great idea.
  • Wouldn’t it be great if we split into small groups to code together..? Ciarán’s great idea... Lightning struck twice Ciaran had a good idea too. He didn’t like the fact that only 6-7 people got a chance to code. Also, some of us didn’t want to code in front of everyone but were happy to code in smaller groups.
  • Two new dojo formats!
  • #1 Show and Tell Dojo Rene setting up a demo for PyGame...
  • More like a seminar than presentation. Interrupt, ask questions, debate, code along, point out problems and generally don’t just sit there...
  • Participation expected
  • #2 Team Dojo
  • ( & ) + = A bit like the classic TV programme “The Great Egg Race” or Scrapheap challenge... teams complete a task with Python.
  • Suggest / vote on a topic Task ideas written on the white-board during the pizza and beer bit at the start. We then vote and split into teams.
  • Teams do the same task This takes about 1.5 hours.
  • Show, tell, review & questions This takes about 1/2 hour and is usually the best part of the evening (for me). Often the task will have been solved in some interesting ways or in ways *you* might not have imagined. Also, presenting and explaining code as well as telling us about design decisions is a good thing to practice.
  • Long term-projects... After Christmas the London dojo decided to write an “old skool” text Adventure game. Each element being a task for the dojo.
  • Select a topic from project Groups solve the same topic Demo, review and evaluate Bless a “winner” as start for next time The general modus operandi. “Refactoring” dojo using the Randori method was a disaster (boring as hell).
  • Adventure Topics Create a game world Represent game state Make a parser Generate puzzles Multi-user or client / server Here’s what we did.
  • Try my MSUD! (Multi-Single User Dungeon) telnet gautier.fry-it.com 2300 So, the end result after several dojos was a working adventure game. Actually Gautier has made it available to play on the Internet... go try it! It’s fun!
  • Gautier’s server :-) http://www.flickr.com/photos/7969902@N07/511103951/ telnet gautier.fry-it.com 2300 Where is French Polynesia? This is a picture of the French army blowing it up in 1970. Licorne 2.
  • In the dojo we... • Teach one another • Explain and present code to one another • Explore each other’s solutions • Work together • Build a community The educational benefits of taking part in a these sorts of Dojo are pretty obvious (I hope). You get to practice all sorts of things... Not the original dojo format. We “forked” the concept - stole the ideas we liked and adapted it to our own group’s dynamics...
  • Dynamism ... what a dynamic bunch we all are. Actually, I missed off one of the most important outcomes...
  • It’s FUN! It’s easier to learn when you’re having a good time.
  • And now a word from our sponsors... Other considerations for making the dojo a success... Community building was an aim in addition to learning
  • Nerds Nerd bait The pizza and beer = important means of community building. Share “war” stories, demo stuff and generally have a good time.
  • It’s just like IRC but you’re actually IRL! People relax and look forward to the coding aspect of the dojo. For open source developers community is important.
  • More nerd bait... We also spoke to O’Reilly who provide us with a book every month. You might have noticed we wear name-badges. Not only because we can never remember each other’s names but also because it makes it easy to do a “prize draw” at the end of the evening.
  • and finally...
  • mmMMmm... backwards talk rubbish do I How to be a Jedi Hacker A personal opinion - people like me who want to learn and improve are often looking for teachers - but beware people who offer themselves as gurus, who promote a “system” or offer pithy aphorisms.
  • WTF? To be an über-Hacker is to “grok” the source completely It’s tempting to be impressed and follow / listen to them I encourage you to be cynical and ask questions of them (just like we do of each other in the dojo) Learn to practice learning (rather than following) by learning in a dojo - yeah I know that’s a pithy aphorism. Bite me! ;-)
  • ἓν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/File:Socrates_Louvre.jpg Socrates (469-399 BCE) I’m with Socrates...
  • The only real wisdom is knowing you know nothing. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/File:Socrates_Louvre.jpg Socrates (469-399 BCE) don’t just blindly follow what other people say... make up your own mind.
  • Just get stuck in... Please...
  • Organise a dojo! Adapt it to your needs, experiment, expect to get things wrong but please HAVE FUN, learn, practice and improve!
  • If you’re ever in London come along and say hi! I advertise it on the Python-UK mailing list. I’ll eventually get round to doing a website.
  • Questions..? Binary beer bottles :-)