Whenever I ask this question to coding partners I get a weird look as response. I then have to clarify that I’m not speaking of the act of exorcising the devil.
Instead I want to show them some cool website called exercism which is – you probably guessed it – derived from the word exercise.
Exercism is a social coding website. You solve small exercises, get feedback on your code by other members and give feedback to their solutions. After receiving reviews on your code you are welcome to improve your solution. The whole point is to get better at coding by practicing while reflecting on code quality.
This concept is not new. Small exercises like these are known under the name Code Kata.
From the site codekatas.org:
Code Kata is a term coined by Dave Thomas, co-author of the book The Pragmatic Programmer, in a bow to the Japanese concept of kata in the martial arts. A code kata is an exercise in programming which helps a programmer hone their skills through practice and repetition.
So what makes the site special then? It’s the community’s judgment which can be quite fussy. Actually, the site itself refers to this process by the name “nitpicking” – do I need to say more?
Exercism is Open Source and still in beta. If you like the idea you are welcome to contribute to the project.