TITLE: A Morning in the Life AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: May 12, 2010 7:41 AM DESC: ----- BODY: My mailbox this morning contained a long complaint from a student about a grade, a request to meet with a faculty member about an issue he didn't handle well this spring, a request for space for summer undergrad research, news that a student hold has been cleared so that a summer course can be created, a spreadsheet of my department's fiscal year-to-date spending for end-of-year planning, calls from upper administration for work on student outcomes assessment, merit pay evaluations, and year-end faculty evaluation letters, and several dozen miscellaneous messages. That doesn't count mailing-list mail, both professional and personal, which is procmailed into separate boxes. Such is the life of a department head. I also received from a student a link to a negative review of git. I am considering using distributed VCS in my agile course, with git and Mercurial at the top of the list. Do you have a suggestion? Mercurial has been around longer, I think, and there are some good tutorials on it. My students need to get up to speed relatively quickly with the basic use cases of whatever tool we use, for a team of ten doing XP-style development. After two days of class, I feel pretty good about the prospects of this group of ten students. They seem willing to collaborate and eager to learn. We are taking to heart the agile value "Responding to change over following a plan", with a change to Ruby as our working language and (git | Mercurial) as our VCS. This means I get to be agile, too, as I prepare some new course materials built around Ruby, Test::Unit, and so on. I'll be looking into RubyMine as an IDE with refactoring support. Do you have any experience using it? Let me know. -----