Improving your Erlang programming skills doing katas by Paolo D’incau.
From the post:
There is one sure thing about programming: you should try to improve your set of skills in a regular way. There are several different methods to achieve this kind of result: reading books and blogs, working on your own pet project and doing pair programming are all very good examples of this, but today I want to introduce you code kata. What is a kata? Well, since you ask, you won’t mind if I digress for a while first!
What is a kata?
In Japanese, the word kata is used to describe choreographed patterns of movements that are practised in solo or possibly with a partner. Kata are especially applied in martial arts because they do represent a way of teaching and practicing in a systematic approach rather than as individuals in a clumsy manner. If the concept of kata is still not clear (shame on me!) you just need to watch again the movie Karate Kid. For the whole movie Mr. Miyagi San teaches Daniel LaRusso the importance of kata and we know that Miyagi San is always right!
The basic concept behind kata is fairly simple: if we keep on practicing in a repetitive manner we can acquire the ability to execute movements without hesitation and to adapt them to a set of different situations without any fear. Pretty cool uh?
Coming back to the good old world of software developers (and especially Erlang ones) we may ask ourselves: “how can we apply the concept of kata to our daily routine?”. David Thomas (one of the authors of “The Pragmatic Programmer”) introduced the concept of Code Kata which is a programming exercise useful to improve our knowledge and skills through practice and repetition. The interesting point of code kata is that usually the exercises proposed are easy and can be implemented on a step-by-step fashion.
A chance to learn/improve your Erlang skills and to learn a good new habit! (Bad habits are easy to acquire.)