[plt-scheme] A first experiment with HTDP

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Tue Jul 1 14:35:56 EDT 2008

On Jul 1, 2008, at 2:21 PM, Grant Rettke wrote:

> At my company, we have a very diverse experience level among all of
> our employees.
> In fact, it is common practice to hire people with little to no
> experience (freshers who may or may not have studied in school or
> vocational training) and sort of train them on the job. There is
> always a want to teach the freshers "how to be good", my thought is to
> utilize HTDP.

You wouldn't be the first company to do just that. Indeed, one  
company just hired a former student of Shriram to improve their  

> I want perform the first experiment in company training by working
> through HTDP start to finish with two or three freshers. We will have
> voice-meetings twice a week (along with email and instant messages).

Do you mean face-to-face meetings?

> Does this make sense? Is there any more to it?

1. If they know "programming", point them to the Prologue for HTDP/2e  
and push them thru part 1 very quickly.

2. Keep in mind NOT to respond to design questions with answer but  
with the Design Recipe questions. The goal of your training is to  
empower your employees. The first step of empowerment is for them to  
notice that you're asking the same questions over and over again, and  
that they are making progress.

3. Have a couple of meta-sessions where you explain that if everyone  
adheres to the design recipe process -- in whatever language you end  
up choosing -- then you can (3a) switch employees around and they  
will quickly find their way around new code and (3b) modify specs  
slightly and the program changes in a reasonably similar small  
manner. (One day I want to formulate a topology for that and show  
that it's a continuous process.) Use examples to make this point,  
ideally from the chosen language of your company.

Good luck -- Matthias

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