On Performing Katas
Everything I’ve read regarding coding katas describes them as a mindful tune-up, a way to build muscle memory while attacking a known problem from various angles. Performing a kata is a bit different, and in some ways seems at odds with how katas are normally practiced.
A kata performance is 5- 10 minutes long. This is primarily so the audience does not get bored. It’s above all meant to be entertaining. Special care must be given to make sure the audience can not only read what is being typed but can follow along and stay engaged. Slow typing can be frustrating and errors can be distracting. Speed and precision are a must and the combination of both is something I currently lack. Honestly, those current limitations are probably what spawned this post. For me getting a kata, even a short one like prime factors, down to between 5 and 10 minutes seems herculean, and for a slightly longer one like bowling game, nearly impossible. Given that I think another thing I struggle with is git workflow, I also want to demonstrate that in the kata, but with that addition, I’m easily above 10 minutes.
I’ve got a couple more tricks up my sleeve to hopefully help improve my speed including using the a Vim emulation layer for VisualStudio. As a side note, I think almost every IDE has some sort of Vim emulation layer or plugin so I think it makes sense for me to use these tools so I can continue to work on my Vim proficiency in each new language and environment I encounter. Overall, I’m just frustrated with my lack of speed on the keyboard and am working hard to try and overcome it.