7.8.0.10

Lab Book

keep track of things

I recommend using a small notebook for keeping an office/work diary, and students in this course usually practice this habit. (All electronic information is easier to steal than paper these days.) But unusual times call for electronic means.

Scientists and engineers record their daily work, activities, observations in note books. Programmers should have one, too, so that if anything goes wrong, this personal documentation can help them reconstruct the past and convince others of their position.

We will request your log at the end of certain lectures, and then you will have one hour to email them to your section's TA.

For this course, the lab book is to help you manage your pair-programming partnership. To this end your personal electronic “lab book” will contain at least four types of entries:
  1. the partner information entry. Enter the following information: name, cell phone, preferred social-media contact, and "daily" email address.

  2. the cover "page" per assignment or project milestone. Enter the title of the project. Also write down an estimate of how much time this work will take.

  3. the meeting entry, which have the following shape:

        DATE/TIME:

        MEDIUM/PHYSICAL LOCATION:

        GOAL:

        NOTES:

        DURATION:

        NEXT : (date/time/place of next meeting)

    If your partner doesn't show up for the meeting, make a note. Also record what actions you undertook to reach your partner. If you sent a reminder email, add a copy to your lab book.

  4. the conclusion "page" per assignment or project milestone. Sum up how much time you actually needed. Write down any general insights.

If there is any other problem, record a description in your log. The very moment you think the partnership goes off track, contact your instructor.

Note You won’t get credit for accurate time estimates. It is about getting good at making estimates. Acquiring this skill is critical for developers as well as people who wish to manage developers. There is nothing like practice to develop this skill.