2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Talks (Track 1) – Main Stage at the Beach
Testers who want to learn to code or understand code, anyone who wants to get better at reading code
Code Reading is an often overlooked skill that can be trained and offers an effective approach to both learning to code and getting better at coding - even for people whose main job is not typing.
“If you want to learn how to code or get better at coding, just start a side project!”
“There are so many tutorials out there, just start coding.”
“You need to figure it out yourself!”
Maybe you’ve heard these or similar statements, and maybe they felt discouraging. Bite-sized tutorials in artificial environments, doing a lot of typing, and figuring out things on your own via trial and error are still the most widespread teaching techniques for learning to code or getting better at coding. This approach takes loads of time, creates a lot of frustration, and can have a steep learning curve for a beginner. If this is not your primary job it’s hard to get good progress, making it extra hard for testers to work on these skills.
There is, however, an alternative approach. Even full-time developers spend 60% of their time reading code and scientific research suggests that learning Java is not so different from learning French. So what if instead of typing away we would focus on reading actual code and using the same techniques as for natural languages to learn and get a deeper understanding of a programming language?
In this talk, I will present tips and techniques on how you can learn to code, get better at reading code quickly and get a deeper understanding of code by reading it.
We will explore:
- why syntax is important and how to learn it quickly
- what makes code complex and how to deal with this complexity
- different text comprehension techniques to deepen our understanding of the code in question.
I will also offer to run a separate code reading club session at the beach to practice what we learned and give practical tips on how to include these techniques into our daily routine.