[python-uk] The London Python Dojo is this Thursday

Tim Golden mail at timgolden.me.uk
Fri Jul 12 13:00:33 CEST 2013

On 12/07/2013 11:24, a.grandi at gmail.com wrote:
> Thank you for the nice evening guys :)
> It was amazing to meet you all and to try to learn something new.
> I have a suggestion for the next time. Maybe it's just me that I'm a
> newbie... I don't know...but... I would suggest to split us in
> groups/projects with this target: experts, intermediate, basic. This
> will allow new people to partecipate and maybe people like me to code
> something.
> This was my second Dojo I attended and even this time I didn't feel at
> the level of coding the proposed problem. After a while it can be
> boring :P
> Why don't we try to bring also intermediate and basic problems to
> solve so that people at any level can try coding something?

I'll let the others comment about last night who were actually there for
the coding!

While I'm definitely sympathetic, making sure to involve newbies is not
that easy a problem to solve. (Though that's not to say we can't try).
It pretty much comes down to who's in your team. Sometimes you get a
team which wholeheartedly embraces egalitarianism and passes the
keyboard round like a conch shell; other times, you've got someone
desperately keen who just grasps the challenge du jour by the keyboard
and will hardly let go.

Which brings me to your suggestion of... well, I'm not sure whether
you're suggesting "team streaming", ie a team of newbies, a team of
pros; or whether you're advocating specifically mixing the teams up.
I'll assume the latter as it seems to make more sense in the context.

We've tried to make this happen maybe once or twice in the past. It's
actually very difficult in practice, because you need people to identify
their level of profiency and then divide up on that basis. Actually,
maybe it's not that hard: we could just ask people to put, say, 0, 1 or
2 on their name badge at the beginning to indicate perceived expertise,
and then somehow use that in the grouping. I don't know: something like
that could work.

I think people are likely to be self-deprecating when identifying their
level. I liked a question that Bruce Durling used a few years back: "Are
you more likely to be asking or to be answering questions about Python?".

re bringing easy / intermediate problems along: well, anyone can propose
a problem. I think you're suggesting that *different* problems be solved
during the one evening, some easier, some harder. I don't say we'd never
do it, but in general we like to have everyone working on the same thing
so that, when it comes to the show-and-tell at the end, you're seeing
how another team solved the same problem you solved.

All that said, I'm up for trying anything. I have no issue with having a
specifically newbie-friendly session; or with having a problem which
specifically splits into an easier and a harder component; or with
making teams deliberately mixed ability. But that's just my take.


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