Friday, January 27, 2012

First Live Kata

I had the pleasure of presenting the Ruby to JSON kata that I posted a few days ago at 8th Light University today. I had a few issues towards the end of my kata, but overall it went well. When I first started practicing the Ruby to JSON kata, it took me around 10-12 minutes to complete. The video I posted a few days ago took me about 8 minutes. Today it took me about 6. In order to cut the time in half I had to practice this kata relentlessly for a few days. I think that I have probably written this kata close to 50 times now. But, that is what it takes to perform a cool kata in 5ish minutes. One cool thing that I did for my kata was playing music in the background. I made this decision because my kata did not really need any specific narration and I didn't want the silence to be awkward. Through this I discovered that it is really hard to perform a kata along with music. I don't just mean playing music in the background while you code, but actually pacing yourself to play along with the music. Towards the end of my practicing for the kata, I was able to do this pretty well. I picked a song throughout that lasted 5:30 and was able to track myself with certain markers in the song. However, during the live presentation, it flopped because I was so nervous. At first, I was typing really slow and got really behind in the song. Then, I had a few typing mistakes that put me behind further. In the end, I finished about 30 seconds after the song, which stinks, because in my practice I would usually end the kata about 15-30 seconds early (the song fades at the end). Overall, I believe that I benefitted a lot from performing the kata and I think (hope) that the views did as well.

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