Friday, December 5, 2008

End of Second Leg

The second leg of my tour was spending a day pairing with Uncle Bob Martin. I was very excited about this leg, because Uncle Bob is who initially introduced me to Agile, in general, and XP, in particular, more than 4.5 years ago. Since then, I've run into him here and there, mostly at the yearly Agile conference. So, when he contacted me a couple weeks ago to come out and pair with him for a day, I jumped at the chance.

Uncle Bob picked me up from the train station on Wednesday night, and, after swinging by his house to pick up his wife, Ann Marie, we all went out to a great pizza place that had all-you-can-eat pizza. Yeah, you ordered whatever pizza you want, and they brought it. I had a rather large half-spinach/half-mushroom pizza and ate too much of it. It was delicious. :) I really enjoyed our dinner conversation, and Ann Marie's salesmanship for the iPhone really tempted me. Who knows. After arriving home, Uncle Bob and I sat and talked for a while, ending the evening with a great glass of Brandy and talking a bit about getting started in computers.

Thursday morning, I woke up, took a shower, then headed down to start the day. Initially, I had thought we might be pairing on, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that we were actually going to be working on RubySlim. We spent a few hours in the morning working on it, making some great progress on the execution engine. After lunch, we finished the afternoon at the 8th Light offices. At the end of the day, we had FitNesse instantiating Ruby fixtures and calling methods. It was a tremendous rush when the first FitNesse fixtures started showing some green.

Pairing with Uncle Bob was a lot of fun. His joy with coding is incredibly infectious, which makes the whole experience that much more fun. He's just getting used to Git, so we had a short discussion about it, along with a few examples of branching and stashing. I even laughed a couple times as I caught his finger reaching for the semi-colon at the end of the line. :)

This leg had a significantly different feel than the first leg, and I think it was because it was much shorter. With David, I was there for three days, and the task was more focused on a longer-term project. RubySlim is a smaller system, so we made a lot more progress towards completion. I think that a single day with David would not have been enough, since I would not have had the opportunity to see the system move significantly forward. This is a good thing to remember for future tours: the amount of term spent with someone probably should reflect the size of the project they are on. This isn't an absolute truth, and I think the rest of the tour will mold this further.

David was kind enough to let me stay at his place tonight in preparation for the next phase of my tour. Tomorrow, I am going to spend part of the day at Obtiva, as Dave Hoover invited me to come out and have lunch with them. I plan on heading over there in the morning, pair with some people, then leave after lunch. I'll be heading up to Grand Rapids, MI, to spend the night with Chris Woodruff. I'm not 100% sure what Saturday will hold for me, but Sunday will see me leaving for Champaign, IL, to spend Monday and Tuesday with Brian Marick.