Program in Style or an Elevator Pitch

Your old programming habits influence the style of your programming in any new language you learn. Let me illustrate my point using Flex.

We usually run Flex training for private clients of Farata Systems , but once in a while we teach public classes for people with different programming background (my next Flex class at New York University starts in November). All students usually get excited by Adobe Flex, but each of them comes with different understanding of how to do things right. So I’ll tell you the story that might have happened in a real life, but first, let me remind you of an old Indian tale about seven blind men and an elephant . In short, one blind man touched the elephant’s head, the other one touched the tail, someone was by the leg. And each of them visualized an elephant differently based on what he touched…

My students usually arrive to the classroom early, but this time three seats were empty. Five minutes later I got a phone call from one of them explaining that they got stuck in the elevator and will stay there for another fifteen minute until the serviceman arrives. Needless to say that each of them had a laptop (do not leave home without it), so I gave them a short assignment to trying to help them use this time productively.

Here’s the assignment: Create a Window with a Panel that can resize itself by clicking on the button +/- that is located in the right corner of the panel. One click should minimize the panel’s height to 20 pixels, and a subsequent one should maximize to 100 pixels, and so on.

Read more…