Coding Contest in Second Life

Just good an email from Christoph Steindl, a former IBM colleague, where he used to co-lead the Agile@IBM community and write an excellent blog.

Are you familiar with the Coding Wars in Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister's Peopleware? Christoph is into something similar: the cool Catalysts' Coding Contest (CCC) that his company is running:

  • Who is faster? Who is more efficient? Who is more effective? Who is more productive?
  • Does "Pair Programming" really make you faster?
  • Does "Test-Driven Development" really lead to fewer bugs?
  • How many ways are there to solve a problem?
  • Is it right that good developers only write 30 lines of code for which mediocre developers need to write 300 lines?
Catalysts organizes a coding contest to go further into some of these questions.
They will be running the contest in Linz, Austria (with post food and beverages) and in Second Life (do avatars drink and eat?).

Looks like a bright idea to me. I bet that having participants with different backgrounds, and letting anonymous participation will provide coders and organizers useful insight. I don't know if other companies do this sort of thing internally, but it looks like very interesting way to get information, a honest measurement not linked to rewards and punishments (note to self: bring this to IBM's internal ThinkPlace).

I'm even considering ignoring my usual too-busy-with-real-life-to-get-me-a-second-life to be able to participate via Second Life.