Sun, 01 May 2005 Kernel Tutorial Revisited

Several people have contacted me to say that the tutorial I gave at wasn't as bad as I claimed. Particularly Tom Parker who said it was "the highlight of the conference for me". Thanks Tom, but I was still disappointed.

Many people have given feedback and suggestions, and if I do it again I'd do the following:

  1. Reduce the problem: say do a programmed I/O rather than DMA,
  2. Make people write the first "hello world" driver as part of the homework, so they know what programming level we expect for the tutorial,
  3. Give them the answers and the slides encrypted and give them the keys to decrypt them as we go

I've been thinking about smaller groups: I know a 20-person tutorial would have been far better. I wonder if we could get some great programmers, and have attendees sign up for a "programming style" tutorial. Semi-randomly assign attendees to each programmer, and have them lead their group in solving a problem (which they've seen before, so they have a prepared solution). With programmers like Tridge, Rasmus, Martin Pool and some lesser-known ones like Anton Blanchard, it'd be a hoot! Maybe it's s dumb idea, but I can assure you that I learn a lot by just discussing coding with these people...

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