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

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