Craft: Raising the Bar Starts with Yourself

Apr 23, 2020 by Magda Zucker in  Software Craft

After the well-received first online edition, I T.A.K.E. Unconference continues with the 8th edition on the 12th of May 2020, for Crafters.
Following our belief that #LearningNeverStops, we continue to bring together online international speakers and top-notch practitioners.

The theme chosen for the 8th edition is Craft: Raising the Bar Starts by Challenging Yourself and includes sessions on: 

  • design heuristics
  • deliberate practice
  • live coding 
  • real games used as learning tools at work
  • new coding exercises for your craft

How is this edition of I TAKE Unconference special?

  • Focus is placed upon new innovative approaches to deliberate practice, robust code and software development
  • Brings together international speakers and top-notch professionals from Europe, the USA and all over the world
  • The sessions include practical examples with the latest techniques applied in various environments, programming languages & technologies
  • Fast-paced, dynamic learning atmosphere
  • Overcoming travel challenges of this Spring

With a focus on practices and practicing, we invite you to explore together through remote live talks and live coding what software craft actually means: raising the bar.

Want to be part of this not-to-miss event? You are welcome to join our group of supporters and partners and bring innovation one step further. Just let us know and we can make it happen.

Let’s continue sharing knowledge by preserving the feeling of a community of peers who learn together, aiming to raise the bar by challenging oneself.

Hack your journey to software craftsmanship with martial arts practices

Apr 29, 2017

code-kata

“Whatever luck I had, I made. I was never a natural athlete, but I paid my dues in sweat and concentration and took the time necessary to learn Karate and become World Champion.” – Chuck Norris (American martial artist and actor. Also, the only man who has counted to infinity. Twice.)

 

 

Japanese concepts from martial arts become common practices in software craftsmanship. It is known that thousands of software developers aiming to become craftsmen are mastering their skills using them.

In fact, in the software industry developers are taught the theory and thrown straight into working on a project. The practice is done on the job, and mistakes occur. Applying the theory is not enough, greatness comes from practising. What makes a programmer to be great is the practice done beyond the software development current job. That’s why so many developers nowadays practice Code Kata.

Why would you do Code Kata?

In karate a kata is an exercise where you repeat a form many times, making small improvements each time. The intent behind code kata is similar. Each iteration is a short exercise (about 30′ to 1-hour duration). The point of the kata is not arriving at the right solution, but to learn some stuff along the way. The only goal is to practice.

Exercise your programming muscles in a way you enjoy and see the progress you make.

According to Code Kata, you need a good practice session and you have to make it fun: you need a bit of time without interruptions, and a single problem to solve in iterations; do as many iterations as it takes for you to improve, and be comfortable making mistakes.

What is Code Kata?

code kata is an exercise in programming which helps a programmer improve their skills through practice and repetition. The term is considered to be coined by Dave Thomas, co-author of the book The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master, in a bow to the Japanese concept of kata in the martial arts.

An example of Kata

Repeat solving the same problem (as the one below), until you know it by heart. You can be sure the next time it pops-up in production it will take you seconds to get it done.

Think of binary numbers: sequences of 0’s and 1’s. How many n-digit binary numbers are there that don’t have two adjacent 1 bits? For example, for three-digit numbers, five of the possible eight combinations meet the criteria: 000, 001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110, 111. What is the number for sequences of length 4, 5, 10, n? Having worked out the pattern, there’s a second part to the question: can you prove why that relationship exists?

Practice Code Kata at I T.A.K.E. Unconference

On 11-12 May 2017 in Bucharest, there’s a Kata Lounge track waiting for you.
During the 2-day program, at any time, you can join this track to pick up a challenge and start the kata session. The challenge contains the problem (called kata), the time you have for your session, and the name of the person who will review your code. The reviewer will help you improve your coding skills.
Invest a bit of time in your coding-craft. Don’t miss the Kata Lounge as well as many other hands-on sessions at I T.A.K.E. Unconference.

I T.A.K.E. Unconference, 8th edition: Slides & Photos

May 14, 2020

Thank you to everyone who made the 8th edition of I T.A.K.E. Unconference amazing: Keynotes, Speakers, Partners, Participants, Team! Let’s keep on Raising the Bar by Challenging Ourselves.

Here’s a short recap of this edition, with the corresponding slides (to be updated)

Lemi Orhan Ergin – 10 Faulty Behaviours of Code Review
Alex Bolboaca – Deliberate Practice Formats and Patterns
Carlos Blé – Refactoring to Value Objects to get rid of the Primitive Obsession
Michael Feathers – Unit Testing and Modularity
Emily Bache – Approval testing
Xavier Detant – Not-so-serious games for serious work
Rebecca Wirfs-Brock – Grow Your Personal Design Heuristics

Get a feeling of the 8th edition from our photos on Facebook.

Interested in what’s next at #itakeunconf? Drop us a line and you’ll be the first to know when registrations for the 9th edition will be opened.

Meet Michael Feathers, Keynote @ I T.A.K.E. Unconference

May 06, 2020

 “For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in why things are the way that they are. Over time, that intense curiosity has driven me to learn as much as I can about object orientation and software development in general. I like to find out what works, and what doesn’t and tell people about the boundary conditions.

Michael Feathers is the Founder and Director of R7K Research & Conveyance, a company specializing in software and organization design.
Over the past 20 years, he has consulted with hundreds of organizations, supporting them with general software design issues, process change, and code revitalization.

Prior to that, he was the Chief Scientist of Obtiva and a Senior Consultant with Object Mentor International. Later on, he became a Member of the Technical Staff at Groupon.

Michael introduced a definition of legacy code as code without tests, which reflects the perspective of legacy code being difficult to work with in part due to a lack of automated regression tests. He also defined characterization tests to start putting legacy code under test. 

Over the years, Michael has spent a great deal of time helping teams after design over time in code bases.

A frequent presenter at national and international conferences, Michael is the author of the book Working Effectively with Legacy Code (Prentice Hall, 2004) and also has written a tool that creates FeatureDiagrams for Java classes.

Curious to hear one of Michael’s latest talks? Join us on the 12th of May at the 8th edition of I T.A.K.E. Unconference.

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