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chromatic (983)

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Tuesday September 23, 2003
10:16 PM

Wacky Idea: Train Programmers; Be A Customer

[ #14869 ]

I often hear from people who want to know how to test, where to find ideas for programs to write to become better developers, and how extreme programming works. It's pretty easy to give advice, especially since the answers are similar.

I also have too many ideas for interesting projects to write anytime soon.

Conventional open source wisdom says "Write some code yourself. Make sure it solves a real problem. Release it with sufficient cleanliness and documentation and utility that other people will find it useful but not so that they won't write patches." That's good advice.

I'm starting to wonder if both of my problems might solve each other. Instead of simply giving advice and saying "Good luck finding a place to use it", could I provide a real project where people could apply my advice? Instead of having all of these ideas but not enough time to implement them sufficiently to attract helpers, could I write story cards and acceptance tests to guide helpers into implementing things?

If I wrote up a couple of ideas for a small game project and broke it up into small pieces, could I attract enough people to implement a couple of tasks apiece? It seems like the idea is worth a try.

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  • A wiki could be good for this. Page to a story/case/idea. Easy to refine, have people ask questions, provide code, etc.

    "Where can I find an idea for a program?"
    "See this wiki: http://blah/"

    "How does XP work?"
    "Check out http://blah/ for stories and tests and such."

    "How do I write tests?"
    "http://blah/ has stories and tests and such"

      ---ict / Spoon
  • And here I was thinking you were going to write something on people who do programming on their laptop, while riding to work or home, by train. Duh...
  • I think the Phalanx project [] might be a great way to start down this road. It's largely about testing.