[racket] Wescheme

From: Shriram Krishnamurthi (sk at cs.brown.edu)
Date: Fri Jul 8 06:37:52 EDT 2011

My follow-up, which I presume will appear on the blog at some point in
the future:

Thanks for the kind words about WeScheme.  I'm sorry that my
presentation was a low point relative to the work, but then again,
that's much better than the other way around!

Since you offer an highly impressionistic view of what I said, let me
fill it out.  I said that our volunteers are a combination of college
students and professional programmers.  The professional programmers
happen to be from companies such as Google and Facebook, but are not
at all limited to them (as I said in my talk).  But to address your
scalability concern, the general supply of students and programmers is
extensive around the country.

The students who do code reviews do so to the audiences present at the
end-of-term celebration.  The audience includes parents, teachers,
principals, etc.  If it so happens that the course was taught by a
team from Google, then it'll also include that team of Google
engineers (as well as others from Google).  It is not the case that
Google and Facebook engineers travel the country to conduct code
reviews (though with WeScheme and a some imagination and technology,
this is achievable without any travel needed...).

The issue of code reviews was anyway a complete sideshow to the point
of the presentation (which was about WeScheme).  I brought it up in
one sentence, as an issue that I think computing educators don't do
nearly enough.  If I'd been thinking quicker on my feet, I'd have done
an instant poll of the people in the room, and then at least we'd be
~50 data points better informed.  I have a guess as to what the
outcome of the poll would have been.  I realized this a half hour
later.  Oh well; l'esprit de l'escalier.

As you will recall, there was ample time for further discussion (I
intentionally finished my talk about 3-4 minutes early).  Anyone in
the room, including both the original questioner and you, was welcome
to point to literature with more information about the prevalence of
code reviews in computing education.  I again find it telling that the
assembled wisdom of computing ed in that room did not.

Every year I scan at least paper titles from many conferences, and if
I'd found titles that mentioned code reviews I'd surely have read
them.  But I may be scanning poorly, or looking for the wrong terms
("code review" vs "code inspection" vs "codewalk"...).  So, why don't
you provide some references or other data for people reading this?

Thanks again for attending the talk and for your kind words.

Posted on the users mailing list.