Sunday, October 26, 2014

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Mind voice: Let this blog post not be my confession (college days)
Me: No worry! This is different.
Every engineering student has a prayer to get the easiest program like Fibonacci series in their practical exam. I too had!
When I sit in fresher interview panel i wish to see their github contribution and blog rather than their well drafted resume.

Why don’t the evaluation methodology of practical exams improve?

Mind voice: First say what is the methodology you wish to propose? We will let you know whether it will improve or not.
I hate the concept of 3 hours exam to evaluate your practical skill. Instead of wasting time in reinventing the wheel and vomiting the same code on practical exam, students can contribute to open source community.
Mind voice: Sounds complicated man! Explain in simple English.
Consider the following
  • Students have 6 months for one semester, they have approximately 2 class every week for 5 months. (3 hrs * 2 classes * 4 weeks * 5 months = 120 hours)
  • There is a huge gap between industry need and academic curriculum
  • Github have more than 10 million Repositories
  • Reading resumes are boring for interviewer
Learn the open source way
  • Create an account in any revision control system like GithubGoogle CodeSourceforge etc.
  • Pick any open source project of your interest on the practical lab language
  • Fork and start understanding the application and follow the development road map.
  • Pick any module from road map or any task from the issue
  • Code it yourself and give a pull request
  • If your code meets the coding standard, quality assurance and functionality then the lead developer will accept the pull request and your code will be added to the next release.
  • Your name is also added to contributes list and you are solving a real time problem with your skill set
Advantages to student
  • Student name will be in credit list when the project is released
  • Satisfaction in contributing to the open source community
  • Social coding helps to stay connected and learn more
  • He/she will be industry ready
  • Up-to-date on technology standards
  • Experience to work on enterprise application development
  • Improve coding standard
  • Understand the importance of testing and documentation
Advantages to instructor
  • Full code control on repositories
  • No need to review the code as the code is already accepted by the industry experts.
  • Instead of reading the same old age coding, it would be interesting to see your students solve the real time problem on a open source project
  • No way for plagiarism
  • You can be the leader who “walk the talk”.
  • Students will have more respect on seeing your code contribution to the community on open source projects
Change I wish to see by this method
  • Soon India will move from being a software service provider country to a quality software product development country
  • Colleges to seed the courage to make every engineer student into an entrepreneur and start-up on their own.
I wish today’s schools and colleges adopt this type of win-win learning path. It’s time for us to realize now a days knowledge is Learning-by-doing.
Note: I studied in an engineering college so wrote to my fellow juniors knowing the process followed but the above could be applied to any degree.
Do you wish feel this way of learning makes sense? Please let me know your comments below.

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