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Remote/Pair-Programming in-the-cloud


On 3/08/19 5:17 PM, Cameron Simpson wrote:
> On 03Aug2019 16:51, DL Neil <PythonList at DancesWithMice.info> wrote:
>> On 3/08/19 11:50 AM, Cameron Simpson wrote:
>>> appear.in can also screen share along with its video conferencing, 
>>> and I imagine Zoom might do so also. But a screen share is "read 
>>> only" for the other party. You could both screen share of course, but 
>>> it doesn't solve the keep-the-code-in-sync issue.
...

> My pair programming experience is pretty limited. If peering over 
> someone's should is enough, you're good. If you ever swap roles (typing 
> versus reviewing) I'd think it gets trickier.

Indeed. A logical improvement over screen-sharing is the objective this 
investigation.


>> A simple screen-share solution has to be the MVP:
>> - I can see the code someone wants to show/is requesting help for
>> - we can talk through the question
>> - but I can't 'take control', eg would have to ask the other person to 
>> scroll in order to show a piece of code 'somewhere else'.
>>
>> Perhaps this is good discipline?
> 
> If you're teaching, then yes, sounds good to me. Student types, teacher 
> observes.
> 
> If it's two peers (regardless of relative expertise in the current 
> problem) I'd imagine wanting to switch around occasionally. Like: 
> Observer: what if we do blah-blah? Coder: not sure what you mean. 
> Observer: types short example code, because it is easier than a precise 
> verbal explaination. Coder: if ok, adapts the example to the actual 
> problem.

Exactly!

The latter better fits (my imagining of) how things will go at a PUG 
coding night.


> If you're mentoring/tutoring, you can put the typing in the associated 
> text messaging system - I think most video conferency things let people 
> message inside the conference? So you're not sharing a keyboard, but you 
> can pass text/code around for copy/paste.

If we are both members of the same (work/project) team and I am one of 
your juniors. When I have a problem and ask your advice, chances are you 
will quickly appreciate the problem because it is a narrow(er) field in 
which you have had (years of) experience.

However, at a PUG Coding Night the questions will come out of 
left-field, in totally different and unrelated subjects.

Accordingly, whereas your advice to a team-member might be almost 
off-the-cuff, eg something like "I use the xyz-library, why don't you 
start by reading-up on that?" when the subject matter is unfamiliar one 
needs to spend more time understanding the problem and (likely) be more 
tentative in suggesting a solution/avenue of investigation. Thus, being 
able to ask for the keyboard and mounting a quick experiment or two, 
might be the best way forward.


My conclusion thus far: If the code is only available locally, and the 
requesting-person has to stop and send a copy to me, to enable such 
experimentation; we'll either run out of time or put our heads in the 
"too hard" basket!

Either that, or that my skills, such as they are, are insufficient for 
the ambitions of the project.
(likely also true given the incredible width of subjects to which Python 
is/can be applied!)


>> One of the PythonAnywhere principals has come back to me [...]
>> In PA, if I open a "console", it can be shared with all my 
>> (PA-defined) "students" as r/o. Better, is that anyone who cares to 
>> ask for help (registered as one of my students) can ask me to 'look 
>> over their shoulder'. As well as navigating the other person's 
>> source-files, I think I could initiate a test, or quick edit, in that 
>> mode.

and has reverted again. It seems that they are keen to see if/how the 
service might work in this mode (cf their existing address of a more 
'normal' educational environment)


>> (if you'd like to give-it-a-whirl/have-a-go, they offer free accounts 
>> (with modest but quite functional facilities) and the registration 
>> process is not onerous - if we* can arrange an RDV, I'll be happy to 
>> try working as a pair...)
> 
> Actually, I'd like that. But I'm in GMT+10. Guessing you're in GMT? We 
> could take that off list.

Done!

If you (ie you/in addition to Cameron) has the time/interest and would 
like to try this (or any other of the options), I'll be keen to 
participate...


-- 
Regards =dn