Volunteer Nick Redshaw talks us through his recent Test Driven Development Workshop at HMP Humber
I recently visited the Code 4000 workshop at HMP Humber where I ran a Test Driven Development workshop.
Coding Katas are (deliberately) simple coding exercises and like their martial art counterparts are intended to be repeated regularly. Doing so will increase the developer's skill with the programming language and tools that they are using.
I began by talking a little about software complexity and why we would want to test software. I covered the different types of test that are available and the benefits of automating any tests that we create. It was then onto describing the process of Test Driven Development or 'TDD' itself. The men asked questions throughout and were engaging well with the subject.
After a break for lunch we began tackling the Fizz Buzz Game coding kata which I had broken down into four separate exercises. I demonstrated the first exercise on screen whilst the men watched. They then went back to their workstations to try it for themselves, mostly in pairs which I encouraged as pair programming is a useful skill that is becoming more widespread in the software development industry.
We continued developing the remaining three exercises and some of the men even managed to finish one of the extension exercises that I'd suggested.
Personally I found the day to be a hugely positive experience and look forward to returning in 2018 to run further coding workshops.