Hacking Sessions - putting it all together

Week 5.

Last week, I lamented over the difficulties with only meeting once a week. We went over a log of new material last week and I was happy when today rolled around and the hackers would be able to start putting things together.

When writing a web app, you've got to know about all sorts of things - for us it's HTML, CSS, Python, and the microframework, flask. That's quite a bit, particularly when working with a group with a wide range of experience coming in.

So, what did we do? We put together two partial web sites.

One had all the Python code, but was missing the HTML and CSS.

The other had the HTML and CSS, but the Python logic was all missing.

It was our hacker's mission to fill in the missing pieces.

We liked the setup for a few reasons:

  • Each Hacker came in with different strengths and weaknesses. With this project, they could start with something they knew (picking the part with the "hard part" filled in) and then moving to a more challenging piece.
  • By looking at the other half of the project, they could find sample code for the pieces they were working on.
  • The hackers also had last weeks code as a reference.

We also introduced the hackers to pair programming - something I love from a pedagogical point of view - but more on that in another post.

Overall I think the day went very well.

We also gave out our first assignment -- over the weeks, the hackers will finish up their projects - next week we'll demo and give prizes for the best.

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