Research shows that on average developers spend about 58 percent of their time on reading code! However, we are not explicitly taught reading code in school or in boot camps, and we rarely practice code reading too. Maybe you have never thought about it, but reading code can be confusing in many ways. Code in which you do not understand the variable names causes a different type of confusion from code that is very coupled to other code. In this talk, Felienne Hermans, associate professor at Leiden University, will firstly dive into the cognitive processes that play a role when reading code. She will then show you theories for reading code, and close the talk with some hands-on techniques that can be used to read to any piece of code with more ease and fewer headaches!
The motivation to design and run Code Reading Clubs for programmers started with the idea that the paradigm we use to teach programming is flawed. One of the most obvious omissions is the ability to read code, both phonetically and analytically. As professional developers who read code every day, we aren't suitably equipping ourselves with these building blocks. So Felienne developed some exercises for Katja to try with her colleagues, based on her research and teaching exercises she uses with students. We tried them, we loved them, we shared them with other developers... and now we want to share them with you! We'll look at a short piece of code together. We'll take you through some exercises designed to help you get better at reading and understanding code you have not seen before. We'll explore together the various strategies we all use when tackling a new piece of code. We'll give you the tools you need to set up your own code reading club. You'll share some eureka moments with us. We'll have lots of fun! Participants should have some previous exposure to programming but it doesn't really matter how much. If you are interested in getting better at reading code and helping your friends and colleagues get better at reading code, then this workshop is for you!