Crashkell at Melbourne :: Compose 19
I ran a new version of the Crashkell Workshop at this year’s Compose! This was small update on the workshop from the previous year, including Mandelbrot and maze exercises.
As was the case previously, the workshop is accessible via the web and provides a notebook of exercises that requires no setup or configuration work. I feel that this format is especially effective for conferences, etc. where attendees time and patience is limited. My first foray into constructing a workshop in this fashion was when I helped run the early Deep-Learning Workshops at Silverpond. I’ve only grown fonder of the format over time and think that anyone running a workshop should seriously consider trying this approach.
The stack is quite flexible and I found that once you had configured your authoring flow, there wasn’t any additional development churn. It was also dead-simple to pick-up a year later.
- Jupiter Notebook
- Custom CSS/JS for hiding solutions
There was limited detailed feedback from the organizer’s survey with most responses being positive, but a single very negative data-point. However in-person, I found that there were a few points of discomfort from attendees. The major pain-point was that the motivation for some of the exercises wasn’t clear. In person, this actually proved to not be too much of an issue, as some degree of head-scratching is actually beneficial for exploring a new language, and with people there in-person to help, doesn’t provide a permanent roadblock.
However, this issue is far more critical online. I’m interested in improving the materials to a degree where it becomes easy to step-through by yourself and still have a useful experience.
Try it for yourself and see what you think!