Thursday, September 18, 2014

Experiment: Daily GitHub Checkins

I've been doing a lot of relatively mindless but decently labor-intensive code-related work (colloquially known, especially in the brogrammer community, as "coding bitch work"). I've been building up some web-based case studies in my Jeeves programming language. I've also had to take over some student code. Taking over this code was particularly painful because of all the managerial regret I felt: regret about not having made them document better, about not having made them do more work. The takeover process has involved a lot of commenting, test-writing, and the occasional small extension to test that I really know What's Going On.

Anyway, to try to mitigate the pain of these various tasks, or to spread it out and prolong it, I've decided to break from my usual model of nothing-nothing-nothing-OMGdeadline and do a small task every day that I work (which, note, does not include all days), big enough to warrant a GitHub checkin. (For those on the outside, being a computer science PhD student, at least if you're me, involves a lot of paper-reading, talk-preparing, writing, thinking, and "thinking" in addition to coding.) I hypothesized that this would be good for me to make incremental progress on some things that just aren't fun to do, as well as improve the general documentation state and cleanliness of my code and tools. I get pretty obsessed with arbitrary routine, so it's worked out decently well so far. (Check me out.) This policy has definitely made me write some documentation and tests I otherwise would not have written. (Although my pseudo-officemate Joe would argue that this is not "real work.") I'll report on things after we hit "OMGdeadline" and let you know how well it worked.

In the spirit of doing things in smaller increments, I'm also making it a goal to do smaller blog posts instead of the Blog Essays (also see my profile on Medium) I've gotten into a habit of doing. I've dramatically curbed my email habit (I wrote a thing here), so maybe these more frequent blog checkins will give my pent-up words somewhere to go.

1 comment:

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This code was particularly painful because of all the managerial regret I felt.The occasional small extension to test that I really know What's Going On.I want to more frequent blog chickens will give my pent-up words somewhere to go.