Southern Man

Monday, June 25, 2012

Test Case Workshop Day 1

The remaining Day Zero activities, in direct contrast to yesterday, went smoothly - free shuttle to O'Hare, breezed through security in ninety seconds flat, kept track of three gate changes (part of the problem yesterday), a smooth flight, and once at Logan in Boston a free shuttle ride and $2 light-rail pass got Southern Man to within a block of the conference venue at Northeastern University.

Southern Man was startled to find that this imposing tower was the "Department of Computer Science and Information Systems." Turned out that the tower is a dorm; the Department was housed in the four-story building at the base. Photo from Wikipedia.

"Test-first" is the notion that student design and then extensively test programming modules before putting them to work. It's not a new idea but their implementation is interesting. Given his late arrival Southern Man spent the afternoon catching up, and he'll hit the lab early tomorrow to finish up. Perversely enough, most of his effort was not expended on the actual material (which is not all that complicated) but on getting the IDE to cooperate and Southern Man was constantly reminded why he doesn't let the intro students anywhere near Eclipse. The heavily locked-down workstations wouldn't let him download and run some of his favorite utilities, either, and that was annoying.

After checking in (a spartan dorm room with little more than bed and desk, on the nineteenth floor!) the evening was spent exploring and geocaching in the many parks surrounding the campus. As is his custom Southern Man sought a pub to sample the local ales and drew the poorest bartender that's ever poured him a drink, in one of the skankiest pubs he's ever seen. But the ale (name forgotten) was excellent.

One cache was on Mission Hill near the lovely Mission Hill Church.

In other news, Dear Leader was just up the street at Symphony Hall for yet another fundraiser, so Southern Man's journey east was blocked by police barricades. Apparently Boston will get stuck with the tab for police and security for what was essentially part of a re-election campaign rather than an official visit.


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