December Meeting – Mute, Blind, and Evil

December’s meeting will be on Thursday, December 8th at the office of Cellular Sales. We will be exploring a favorite session from the Coderetreat on December 3rd – Mute with Evil Coder.

The problem we’ll be solving is Tic-Tac-Toe, using the following rules:

  • A game is over when all fields are taken
  • A game is over when all fields in a column are taken by a player
  • A game is over when all fields in a row are taken by a player
  • A game is over when all fields in a diagonal are taken by a player
  • A player can take a field if not already taken
  • Players take turns taking fields until the game is over

We’ll be doing a variant of ping-pong paired programming. One person will write a test, then the other person will make it pass. The the same test-writer will write the next test, and the the other person will make it pass. And so on and so on, with one person writing all the tests, and one person making them pass.

Now, the first constraint: mute. There is no talking allowed. All communication will be done through code (and no, you’re not allowed to write a code comment in order to ask a question). If you have questions about syntax or the IDE you’re working in, you may talk about that – but no talking about the problem.

The second constraint is optional: blind. The person writing the tests should avoid seeing what is done to make them pass. Combined with the third constraint, it will make the test-writer’s role very challenging.

The third constraint really makes it interesting: evil. The person making tests pass should try to make them pass, but for the wrong reason. Try to find a loophole in the test. You should still write good code (SOLID, DRY, etc.), but really try to mess up the test-writer.

After 45 minutes or so, we’ll do a quick retrospective – what did we like, what didn’t we like, what did we learn, etc. Then, we’ll switch partners and roles. Test-writers will become test-passers, and vice versa. Then we’ll do it again, so everyone gets a chance to perform each role.

After the second session, we’ll do another retrospective. Then we’ll go out for drinks and continue the discussion.

Click here to RSVP

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2 Comments

  1. All I have to say is “Brian you are truly an evil person!!!!!!”

    Still sounds like fun.

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