Lab Book

keep track of things

Buy a small note book so that you can take lab notes. Scientists and engineers record their daily work, activities, observations in such books. Do not mingle your lab notes with your lecture notes. Do not keep the lab notes on some computer. Programmers should have one, too, so that if anything goes wrong, this documentation can help you reconstruct the past and convince others of your position.

For this course, the lab book is to help you manage your pair-programming partnership. To this end your lab book will contain four types of pages:
  1. the partner information page. Enter the following information on this page: name, cell phone, social-media contact if you prefer this over email, and "daily" email address.

  2. the cover page for a weekly project. Enter on this page the title of the project. Also write down an estimate of how much time this work will take.

  3. the meeting pages, which have the following shape:

            date/time: _______________________________

            place: ___________________________________

            goal: ____________________________________

            notes: ___________________________________




            duration: ________________________________

            NEXT : (date/time/place of next meeting)

  4. the conclusion page for a weekly project. This page is mostly for your own consumption. Sum up how much time you needed.

If your partner doesn't show up for the meeting, make a note. Also record what actions you undertook to reach your partner. If you sent a reminder email, print a copy and glue it into your lab book.

Note You won’t get credit for accurate time estimates. The point is to learn to estimate how much time real tasks take. Acquiring this skill is critical for developers as well as people who wish to manage developers. There is nothing like practice to develop this skill.