[Edu-sig] introduction

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Fri Mar 21 22:32:14 CET 2008

>  In Vilnius, I was paired with this talent from Google Warsaw who
>  barely knew Python, but was through the roof smart and knew Java
>  already, so was taking this opportunity to suck up Python like a
>  sponge.  Since I'm happy teaching Python, our productivity was
>  very high, not saying other pairs weren't higher (you generally
>  don't need to "grade pairs" in XP, a corollary to the frequent
>  repairing operation, garbage collecting of bad karma that way).

Just to give more background, this technique of switching quite
often, like every 90 minutes, is called "promiscuous pairing" in
XP and is considered advanced, not necessarily a good starting
place, per this blog entry:


The presentation I was referring to in Vilnius was by Arlo Belshee
as you'll see on this schedule (Wednesday):


He's with BlueTech, not Microsoft:

I'm not really sure how much XP is used in Redmond, not being an
insider there (though with friends on the inside).  Let's just say  I suspect
quite a lot, as savvy software engineers tend to adopt best practices
out of necessity to keep up.

Anyway, we're using it around Portland and if I get that adult student
gig I'm angling for (building a tag team) you can be sure we'll be writing
lots of unit tests (which sometimes double as "demo defs" for a Python
module, i.e. they advertise what it does).


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