Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Agile Besançon--March

This month at our Agile Besançon meeting (meeting announcements at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/software_dev_in_free-county/), we did a Cowboy Coding Contest.   Six people came,  which is definitelymini_P030310_20.49enough to have fun, and we set up one  laptop with a projector so everyone could see what Ludovic and I were up to.   Initially we thought we’d do multiple attempts at the same  algorithm (implementing a Decimal to Roman Numerals converter), mini_P030310_20.50but  we wanted something new for the second try, so we did a binary search instead.  We spent just over 30 minutes for each programming task, followed by a review of our approach.  Anyone who wanted could share their code, their algorithm, or speak more generally if preferred.  Since people were allowed to code in any language, we ended up seeing implementations in Java, Python, and C++!  I would have gone faster if I’d picked Java, but I don’t want to lose everything I know about Python, so I practice it when I get a chance…

As usual, we ended our meeting with a quick feedback cycle… mini_P030310_20.53people enjoyed coming out to do code, but thought the algorithms could have been laid out more clearly (bduf?).  They also thought algorithm implementation isn’t good practice for object-oriented programming.

1 comment:

xpmatteo said...

Hi André,

the binary search algorithm is deceptively simple... it's very difficult to get right unless you keep in mind to preserve the loop invariant. There is a good explanation in the "Programming Pearls" book.