8.3.0.5

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.).

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 lab book at the beginning of some lectures, and you will have till the end of the lecture to hand them to the section's teaching assistant. See General for how lab books are valued.

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 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 your response (what actions did you undertake to reach your partner; what did you do with your time). 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 lab book. The very moment you think the partnership has gone 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.