Pair programming with Dmitry in Sentient

A few weeks ago I spent a pleasant evening pair programming with my friend Dmitry for his YouTube channel. We worked on a a couple of problems in Sentient, which is a language I wrote a few years ago. The first of these videos is here:

A gentle (but hands on) introduction to the language

You can probably tell we’re both pretty nervous at the start but that subsides once things get going. Dmitry did a great job of being inquisitive and asking questions, clearly anticipating those from his audience about details I’d have skipped over.

In the second video, we tackled the more difficult problem of finding a Knight’s Tour around a chessboard. It still turned out to be pretty easy, though:

A more challenging problem: finding a Knight’s Tour

In conclusion

A few years ago, I tried to produce screencasts of my own but ended up hating everything I recorded. Perhaps this experience will spur me on to try again.

By the sounds of it, Dmitry had a similar experience. Sitting alone in a darkened room while you narrate your coding is challenging. Not so much the technical side of it, but its vacuous nature. You have no feedback to guide what you’re doing.

That’s why I think this format works so well. Pair programming is more informal. It’s like the day job. There’s expectation you’ll make mistakes and break off in the middle of sentences. When you do, there’s someone there to pick up the thread.

I genuinely hope you enjoy(ed) the videos. They firmly fit in the category of try to share more of what you’re doing, tuzz. If you have any questions or comments, put them on YouTube or tweet at me - and/or follow me for more computer-y goodness.