Posted by: Eric Lefevre-Ardant | July 19, 2009

Programming with the Stars: coders wanted

Programming with the Stars

When I participated at Agile 2008 in Toronto, one of the most fun event was Programming with the Stars.  So I am delighted to see it taking place at Agile 2009 as well!

From the hosts, Joshua Kerievsky and Jeff Nielsen:

“Come join the lunchtime fun at the developer jam stage! Each day, select conference attendees will be paired with legendary agile programmers to perform live on stage before a panel of famous (and outspoken) judges. Watch the contestants test-drive tricky algorithms, refactor poorly designed code, and more. Audience members cast votes for who should ultimately be crowned as the winning duo.”

Each day, a pair of developers will be eliminated until there are only two pairs left. And on the Thursday will see a heavily contested final between the two.

Programming With Stars

Last year, Emily Bache was paired with none other that Micheal Feathers and made it to the final. Let’s hear her account of one of their demonstrations:

“So in the middle of our performance, Geoff came up onto the stage for a couple of minutes. He helped us write a failing story test in JUseCase/TextTest, and then Michael and I made the use case part of it work by adding a new widget. We didn’t get the whole test passing, but it was a start. The judges apparently loved this, we got the highest marks of the whole competition so far. Wahey! Now for the final tomorrow!”

In the end, Emily and Michael lost to Noah Jacobson and Lasse Koskela in the finals. Hey, you cannot win them all!

Want to join the fun this year? Want to show off your Mad Programming Skillz? Jeff & Joshua are looking for contestants. Send them an email fast (their email address is at the bottom of the event page).

Finally, to give you a taste, Patrick Debois has a short video from Agile 2008 (see the MP4 file at the bottom of the post).

Update: I found again an interview of Emily (and Geoff) Bach by Bob Payne. Emily retells the story of their performance at Programming with the Stars.


  1. […] Programming with the Stars contest where pairs of developers wll be demonstrate their programming skills in front of a panel of three […]

  2. […] Engineer Bootcamp: Builds As Code by Paul Julius and Jeffrey Fredrick. He will also try to watch Programming with the Stars and maybe even peek at the coding in progress at Live […]


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