Tuesday, April 17, 2007

EAMUG #2!

We had another presentation for Eamug this evening! This time it was about TDD (Test-Driven Development) and Curtis Schofield was the presenter. He did an interesting and decidedly manic presentation and had a very fun presenting style. I think he had a slide at one point that said "Current development practices are teh suck!" or something along those lines, and his presentation was interspersed with random photos of pineapples among other things. It made me feel like I am too didactic when I do presentations - I'm so intent on making sure I am expressing myself clearly that I sometimes forget to just enjoy and have fun and that's a good lesson for me in any future presentations I do. We'll see if I can actually learn that lesson! The only problem I had with the presentation is that the code he was demonstrating - writing a templating engine in ruby - was too sophisticated for a short presentation. Not only was everything in Ruby which was the least well-known language among the attendees but it was ruby on steroids, full of crazy dynamic reflection meta-programming stuff. I had a lot of trouble following what was going on. On the other hand, I learned about some features of Ruby that I didn't know about, so I guess it wasn't entirely a bad thing. It's always tough when you're trying to use an example from a real project rather than a toy project - conveying the context becomes difficult. On the other hand toy projects are by definition not representative of real world issues. I think introducing TDD in a one hour presentation still requires a toy project though because otherwise it's just too difficult to get everything across clearly. In any case, there was a lively discussion afterward and generally a good feeling in the room and I was really happy to be there.

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