One thing that I’ve found incredibly helpful is to get feedback from experienced developers.
I have a few friends who are familiar enough with Ruby to look at my code and ask me good questions to help me think about how I could improve. When I have a project that’s up and running, I send them a link to my repo, and they’ll comment in my code on things they find that could be done differently. Here’s an example.
I wonder if this sort of feedback could be worked into TOP as a whole, perhaps here in the forums. Create a ‘Code Review’ section, and within the curriculum for key projects, invite them to post their finished projects. Perhaps there could be some helpful prerequisites for posting:
- Code must be fully functional.
- Include a README for what users will need to do to run your program.
- Only one project per post.
- Must be project from TOP curriculum, not side-projects done elsewhere.
If you’ve ever tried to learn to code on Kahn Academy, they have a similar feature built in. As soon as you finish a project, it’s pushed to other students to review your code and confirm that it meets all the required user stories.
I don’t think TOP needs to implement anything that robust. However, some means to facilitate feedback on completed projects, I think, could help students learn and solidify their skills more deeply.