Herding Code 81: Simplicity, balance, and focus in teaching software development

This week on Herding Code, the guys discuss compare notes on how to teach software development topics. Is hands-on instruction key? How much should you simplify to focus on mechanics? How do you teach, and how do you like to learn?

  • Jon talks about his impressions on the effectiveness of hands-on learning at Web Camp Toronto.
  • K. Scott questions if people really learn at Code Camps, and Scott K. talks about hack-a-thons at Code Camps.
  • We talk about open source contributions as development. Jon demonstrates that he’s bad at doing math while he talks.
  • Jon asks Scott K. about what works for him with his training classes with Pluralsight.
  • We all talk about the MVC Music Store, and the gaps between marketing, introductory training, and advanced training.
  • Jon and K. Scott talk about the difficulty in finding the correct focus and simplicity level in introductory training.
  • Jon talks about the mistake he’s made several times in not clarifying the level of content he’s presenting.
  • Kevin talks about how he expects to see unit tests in any samples, but Scott K. says that won’t save you from public shame.
  • Scott K. asks if we should be focusing on concepts and “why?” questions rather than products or frameworks.
  • Jon and Scott K. talk about the fun of looking at the ASP.NET MVC source code.
  • Kevin comments on the difference in complexity he sees in .NET code and Ruby source code. Scott K. talks about how Fubu MVC code is pretty easy to read, too.
  • Jon asks about the difficulty of doing “real world” samples, and K. Scott asks whose real world we’re talking about.
  • K. Scott drops a surprise mini-lightning round on us with a question about the effectiveness of video as a learning tool.

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Herding Code 81: Simplicity, balance, and focus in teaching software development

[audio:http://herdingcode.com/wp-content/uploads/HerdingCode-0081-Simplicity-balance-and-focus-in-teaching-software-development.mp3]

Herding Code 80: RxJS with Jeffrey van Gogh and Matt Podwysocki

This week on Herding Code, the guys speak with Jeffrey van Gogh and Matt Podwysocki about the Reactive Extensions for Javascript.

  • Matt talks about how he’s been involved with RxJS.
  • Jeffrey talks about how RxJS and Reactive Extensions came out of the the Volta project.
  • Matt talks about how RxJS simplifies the callback model in Javascript.
  • Jeffery adds on how this also has benefits to asynchronous operations.
  • Jon asks about how this works with queries over events which will happen in the future.
  • Mat talks about how this works with jQuery’s bind and live events.
  • Jon asks the standard question about querying over mouse move events. Matt and Jeffrey use the example to explain about how composable operations over events can be really powerful.
  • Jon asks how Reactive Extensions relates to functional reactive programming, and to functional programming in general.
  • Kevin asks about how RxJS interoperates with jQuery.
  • We take questions from Twitter about jQuery integration and use of RxJS to manage script loading and script scoping.
  • Kevin asks for some concrete usage examples.
  • Kevin asks about the library size and the overall release status.
  • Jon asks about Jeffrey’s blog posts on using RxJS with Node.js and Script#.
  • We talk about Matt’s extensive blog post series on RxJS.
  • We talk about recent RxJS presentations: Erik Meijer’s talk at MIX10, Jeffrey’s talk at JSConf, and Matt’s at the Imagine Cup.
  • Jon asks about what exactly is involved in adding RxJS support to different Javascript libraries.
  • Scott K asks about the tradeoffs of bringing the CLR to the browser vs. bringing things like RxJS into the browser via Javascript.
  • We talk about how Javascript development has gotten easier with development environment improvements, testing systems, etc.
  • Matt talks about how it’s often easier to do things in Javascript than in a statically typed language like C#.
  • Scott K asks about how scope is handled in RxJS.
  • Jon asks about how the code is licensed.
  • Kevin asks about the naming conventions used in RxJS, supported browsers, release plans.
  • Jon asks about Reactive Extensions for .NET, and we talk about how it’s especially useful in Silverlight.
  • Jeffery mentions that Reactive Extensions will be included in Windows Phone 7.
  • We pretend to end the show, but the discussion keeps going and K Scott joins the party.

Show Links:

Show notes compiled by Ben Griswold. Thanks!

Download / Listen:

Herding Code 80: RxJS with Jeffrey van Gogh and Matt Podwysocki

[audio:http://herdingcode.com/wp-content/uploads/HerdingCode-0080-RxJS-with-Jeffrey-van-Gogh-and-Matt-Podwysocki.mp3]

Herding Code 79: JSConf Recap with Chris Williams, Rey Bango and Matt Podwysocki

This week on Herding Code, the guys speak with Chris Williams, Rey Bango and Matt Podwysocki about this year’s JSConf.

  • Chris begins the show with a conference overview which will leave you chomping at the bit for JSConf 2011 registration to open. Hackers’ Lounge. Multiple tracks. One killer speaker list. Hyper-caffeinated, hyper-intoxicated privates! Salmagundi. And lots of JavaScript!
  • The guests discuss their favorite parts of the conference. Beyond the quality of the talks, Rey and Chris both comment about the invaluable conversations which were had out-of-session in the Hacker’s Lounge and at the ScurvyConf. Quote of the Show: “I am a firm believer of drinking beer, and shooting the poop, and when you do that, magic happens.” – Chris Williams
  • Chris talks about the excitement around Tobias Schneirder’s presentation on Gordon, an open source Flash runtime written in pure JavaScript.
  • The guys talk about Alex Russell and Google Chrome Frame and how IE6 must Die.
  • Chris praises Billy Hoffman’s JavaScript’s Evil Side presentation.
  • K Scott and Chris talk about JavaScript outside of the browser and functional programming,
  • Chris and Scott K talk about a seemingly new found interest in Server-side JS
  • Jon asks about JS library duplication in competing platforms. Rey talks about what Resig has done with Sizzle and how each library has their own niche.
  • Chris talks about the need to learn JavaScript and how we should be JavaScript developers, not just developers who use JavaScript libraries.
  • Matt teases us by mentioning that he’ll be talking about Reactive Extensions on next week’s Herding Code episode.
  • Jon asks which percentage of cool JavaScript stuff is just waiting on browser adoption.  Chris doesn’t think too much and prompts Matt talks about progressive enhancements.
  • Chris talks about the importance of security and how we shouldn’t only be taught how to write good code but also how to break bad code.
  • Kevin asks what is happening with JavaScript, the language itself.
  • The show wraps with talk of diversity in computing, JSConf EU, JQuery Conference, JQuery UI 1.8 release, JavaScript conferences and craft beers in the D.C. area.

Show Links:

Show notes compiled by Ben Griswold. Thanks!

Download / Listen:

Herding Code 79: JSConf Recap with Chris Williams, Rey Bango and Matt Podwysocki

[audio:http://herdingcode.com/wp-content/uploads/HerdingCode-0079-JSConf-Recap-with-Chris-Williams-Rey-Bango-and-Matt-Podwysocki.mp3]