Monday, March 03, 2008

Force and Counterforce

I'm programming the Personal Chess Training website with a friend. He does most of the content work (web design, chess problems, hints, etc...). I do most of the hard core programming. We split the database work, the hard stuff goes to me and he picks up the easier things.

The one thing that is interesting is how force and counterforce work together between us. For example, I prefer to take things slow and steadily. He prefers to rush in and see what breaks. I have my students set to 1 or 2 problems at a time, he sent out 25 to all of his students at once. I had hoped to add 1 or 2 additional teachers, he signed up 10. Often, his forces create counter forces in the code base. For instance, I got tired of hardcoding the teacher name in the code, so now I pull it automatically from their cookies. We needed some way to handle his problem load, so we created tracks and simultaneous games that could be set per teacher. I also added automatic restarting of mates in 1 since he was having to work through so many that students missed. Each push that he has given has resulted in a counter push by me to automate the site to reduce my workload.

I wonder how many other things have come about from a force and a counter force. After all, necessity is the mother of invention.

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