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Katrina Owen

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since Nov 03, 2006
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Recent posts by Katrina Owen

Hi Robert,

No, we don't share the instructor solutions. They are only given to students after they've been thoroughly nitpicked (which usually takes a few rounds back and forth.

9 years ago
There are 3 nitpickers and many, many students.

I mostly nitpick on a daily basis, unless I'm traveling. When I'm traveling I try to check in whenever I have a decent internet connection, but sometimes it can take 3 or 4 days before I get back to students with a nitpick.

I'm not sure what type of schedule the other nitpickers are on. Since everything happens by email it's hard to keep track.
9 years ago
For the moment both Janeice and I are nitpicking the Java and OOP modules.
10 years ago
You can always start over. It's such a pleasure to nitpick those early assignments!
10 years ago
Please only submit one assignment at a time. We expect you to incorporate any nits and learning that you do in one assignment into your next submission, so one at a time works best.

10 years ago
Just to confirm: You don't need the book. Also: you don't necessarily need to use the same email that you signed up with, we usually figure it out based on the name

10 years ago
We've discussed naming things a couple times:

Intention Revealing Names
Variable Naming
10 years ago
We optimize for short, simple, and readable, where readable wins over short.

With respect to comments, we will very, very rarely expect a comment. For the most part if you have a comment, we will ask you to choose more appropriate variable names.
The only time a comment is expected is if the code contains some context that cannot be encoded into the code itself.

We work a lot on choosing good variable names, as naming things is considered one of the hard problems in computer science.

This is one of those "it depends" things, but examples of typical names that will get nitpicked are a name that tells us where the variable comes from or how it is derived, but not what role it plays in the program, or a name that contains a suffix or prefix that does not provide a meaningful distinction. There are many others.
10 years ago
Glad you made it, rough patches and all.
10 years ago
Interesting, I never thought of naming as a soft skill. I always thought of soft skills as things like knowing how to read body language and how to say 'How was your weekend?' and such.

Naming things has so much to do with precision and accuracy.

Q. How many geeks does it take to ruin a joke?
A. You mean nerd, not geek. And not joke, but riddle. Proceed.

10 years ago
As a nitpicker on the Cattle Drive, I find myself returning to the concept of naming things well.

It's one of the most difficult things in computer science.

There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things.
-- Phil Karlton

And of course, a popular variant: "there are two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors".

Today I came across a blog post about this subject that speaks to the difference between explaining implementation (a name that explains what it does) and purpose (a name that explains why it is important)

It's a great read, highly recommended: Code That Says Why It Does
10 years ago
Yepp, we're still going. Welcome!
10 years ago
Ok, email is working again, and I just received 10 messages in my inbox.

If you hear from me within the next few hours you're all good. If you don't, please resend your assignment.
10 years ago