Kata Presentation Feedback

July 20, 2012

Today, I performed my prime factors kata for Colin. I was nervous, despite my familiarity with the code to be demonstrated. This was a confidence issue, I think. To make matters worse, I was caffeinated. I delivered it as closely as I could to how it is presented in my previous blog post. Colin presented me with some feedback, which will certainly serve to be invaluable.

The first thing he mentioned was that I made the mistake of calling attention to my nervousness. Some of the best, yet simplest, advice given to speakers early on is to be discrete about any anxiety. Once a speaker or other public performer clues the audience in to that anxiety, the attention can shift from the content of the presentation to the condition of the performer. Despite any stumbles, it is best to keep moving forward. Keep calm and carry on, if you please.

Another observation was for tending to be dismissive of the refactoring step of the TDD cycle. I refactored when needed, but made brief mention of it being unnecessary at other times. Based on how the kata was structured and practiced, there were only a handful of real opportunities to refactor the PrimeFactors class, and only one occasion to refactor the spec. However, every time this step occurs in the cycle, some measure of consideration and justification should be made for the decision to refactor or not. Otherwise, it becomes more about the repetition of steps and less about the thinking and learning process.

Other observations and suggestions were mentioned, all of which are invaluable. I take advice to heart as well as I can and very much appreciate when it is given. Future presentations will be prepared with these things in mind.

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