What’s that blocky green logo?
A few weeks ago I went to a tech Meetup in Soho at the offices of Cyrus Innovations, hosted by a guy who works there named David Newell.
As far as I can tell, Coffeescript has two main purposes:
- To add a bunch of syntactic sugar (comprehensions, splats, etc.) to make it look more like python or ruby. Thus also having the secondary effect of making it a lot shorter to write.
We were there all day for what David called a ‘code retreat.’ With my primitive Unix skills, I had just barely managed to install CoffeeScript on my laptop, a feat which first involved installing Node.js, the technology all the kids are talking about these days but only the lucky few actually know. By the time I got done I had about an hour to go over a tutorial, so that was the extent of my Coffeescript knowledge.
I’m not sure what I expected but we all got thrown into working in pairs creating implementations of Conway’s Game of Life (wikipedia that shit) in CoffeeScript. 45 minutes for each pair, then you ERASE all the code you’ve been working on (which was super-painful), come back to the group to discuss it, pair off with someone else and do it all over again, all day. David says that every time he needs to learn a new programming language, he makes the Game of Life. We didn’t ever get very far, but that wasn’t the point. The idea was to keep refining the way you thought about the problem.
It was an interesting experience. David was a very nice guy and did a great job running it, and I learned quite a bit about the concepts behind test driven development, which I’d also never had any experience with.