Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Coding For Speed (Or How I Got My Butt Kicked By A Supermodel)

The crazy guys at Developer Express have a great challenge at their booth here: Code head to head against a model who’s had six hours training on writing a specific bit of code using CodeRush.  She uses CodeRush, you use Visual Studio. 

The great point of this exercise is that anyone, even a complete novice, can see great gains in productivity by using CodeRush.  Additionally, Sara had only used Macs until this week.  “What do you mean press the ‘Control Key’?”  Dustin Capmbell and Mark Miller work the audience and shame folks into going head to head with Sara to see who can get through the exercise faster. 

I’m a ReSharper fan, so Mark convinced me to give it a shot.  He even let me use my own system with ReSharper installed.  I spent a bit of time practicing and ironing out what keystrokes would be the most beneficial — Sara gets through creating the two classes, several properties with backing stores, and a couple methods in under 50 seconds, so there is NO room for any wasted keystrokes.

Yesterday I stepped up to the challenge and went head to head with a super model who’s young enough to be my daughter.  I did OK out of the gate and was keeping up with Sara, but my Visual Studio instance had a meltdown and cratered as I was, literally, finishing up my last line of code and getting ready to build my project to finish out the challenge.

We had a rematch and then I had a complete meltdown.  Somehow I hit a key combo that brought out and pinned the property sidebar window.  Not good when you’re working on a narrow screen resolution with a large font size — you need every bit of real estate to see the code you’re writing and you do not have an extra second to close things out. 

Ugly finish.  She completely kicked my butt, which was too bad, because my fastest time practicing(40 seconds) was right at Sara’s best time.

Regardless, it was a lot of fun and I got to spend a session in the DevEx cash booth windmachine thingy which blows money around you.  I managed to grab up $63 and am looking forward to spending some of that on yummy tequila at the Border Grill later this evening (Next morning: The nice folks from Data Dynamics brought my tequila for me. Thanks DD!).

Kudos to the great DevExpress folks who came up with a great, fun idea.

(And kudos to the folks at JetBrains for the great ReSharper which I still love.  I’m sorry I couldn’t pull off a win for the team!!)


Ilya Ryzhenkov said...

We really appreciate your effort to prove that your favorite tool is great, thanks! Unfortunately, I didn't see that competition, but I believe that was fun :) I also see only positive things in this event. Consider - you were head to head with trained person (supermodels could be quite smart) in the task, specifically developed to be cool for another tool. This means, that in general ReSharper is simply better. Even in the case specially built in favor of the competitor tool, greate developer with ReSharper can beat it. I find it amazing! Thanks again!

Jim Holmes said...

Thanks, Ilya! You folks do a great job with the software and I'm a happy user. I also appreciate the tremendous support you give the .NET community, too.

Yes, supermodels can be quite smart! It was certainly not my intent to imply otherwise. Sara and the other model there were very intelligent and had pretty amazing poise under some significant stress.

Anonymous said...

I think i will be hiring SuperModels for my next project. :)

great post. well balanced and informative

Anonymous said...

Thanks for giving it a shot Jim - and if you had come into our vendor session which was standing room only, you would have seen her do it in 25 seconds.
And sorry to do this to you Jim on your own blog, but Ilya - saying what you just said blows my mind and I just wish you were there for me to actually put you through the paces with your own product against ours. You, like Jim, would have lost. You should be proud of your product, as you obviously are, and like you we are proud of ours ---- but hyperbole like it is "better" is just that - hyperbole...
Developer Express

Ilya Ryzhenkov said...

Ray, I don't find my statement to be a hyperbole - I just posted my own opinion. I used ReSharper long before I joined JetBrains team, and I love it regardless of my occupation. I really, honestly, absolutely think ReSharper is the best :) Sorry, if it hurts your feelings.

Btw, what was the task to do? Is there any video available? I'd like to see!

Jim Holmes said...

Folks, I love both your companies for the support they give the community and for your great products.

That said, my blog is not the place for DevExpress and JetBrains to duke it out regarding your products.

Anonymous said...

Agree with you Jim, this is not the place to duke it out. We'll make sure to get Ilya a seat against Sara next time so he'll experience it for himself.
Developer Express

Subscribe (RSS)

The Leadership Journey