SPA Conference session: Living with Live Code

One-line description:Experience Live Code for yourself
Session format: Workshop (150 mins) [read about the different session types]
Abstract:There has been a sudden rise of interest in environments that allow you to work with live code.

What do I mean by live code? Maybe it is easiest to explain by what it is not. Most developers work with a language and environment that is file based. The code is stored in a set of files that are directly edited and then compiled to produce a running program. The code is an indirect representation of the running code. If you are lucky you will have a good debugging environment that will let you view the running application to see what is really happening. But the code itself is dead. In a live code system the code is always running and you can directly modify the running system. Changes to code immediately change the running system and they directly manipulate the application. In addition the values within the running system can be directly manipulated producing a experimental and exploratory approach to coding that is much more interactive.

This workshop will provide an environment to explore and experience these ideas for yourself. You will work through a number of examples that should give you a feel of what it is like to work in these kind of environments.

Audience background:Anyone who can code a little bit.
Benefits of participating:Explore ideas about the way that we write software and a better understanding of how the environment itself might change the way we actually program and think about the problems that we are trying to solve.
Materials provided:The initial presentation and the environment itself. You need to bring a laptop with a wireless connection.
Process:There will be an introduction to the concepts. Then a series of 4 exercises exploring aspects of live code with discussion after each. The exercises should be done in pairs.
Detailed timetable:00:00-00:15 Introduction
00:15-00:40 first exercise
00:40-00:45 discussion
00:45-01:10 second exercise
01:10-01:15 discussion
01:15-01:40 third exercise
01:40-01:45 discussion
01:45-02:15 fourth exercise
02:15-02:30 final discussion and lessons learnt

Outputs:The individual experiences of coding in a live code environment.

A summary about the merits of live code environments and the lessons that the participants have taken away.
History:This session has not been presented before but comes out of some of the work with Wolf Pack Programming and Smalltalk in general. It is influenced by others ideas in this area.
1. Jason Ayers 2. 3.