Storyteller allows you to guide others through the twists and turns of your code. You can draw pictures, capture screenshots, create text, record audio/video and link it all to how your code has changed over time. It is a new way to document how your code has evolved in order to share your experiences with others.
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Traditionally, the only place programmers consistently document their thought processes about their code is in code comments.
However, code comments are not a great place to describe how some code has evolved over time. It doesn't make much sense to have a
code comment describing the change of a variable name from
volumeOfPackage if the former is not
present in the code anymore.
You might discover an intersting story or a teachable moment while writing your code. However, there is not a good place to write it down in order to share it with others. There are stories to be told about initial development of features, refactors, bug fixes, feature enhancements, and optimizations.
Storyteller records all of the development process so that it can be animated in a playback. The playback shows all of the changes made to the code in the order the developer made them. There is no need to decide when to commit your changes since the system can be recreated at any point in its history. It also has basic version control functionality (branching and merging) built in.
More importantly, these playbacks can be paused and a developer can add a comment (text, pic, audio/video) that describes the code in its current state. A developer can use a group of these comments to provide a narrative about how and why the code evolved the way it did.
Creating one or more playbacks is a great way to:
- onboard newcomers to get them up to speed on your code
- create learning materials for other developers
- prepare others for a code review of your code
- write about what you have been up to for your team and managers
- learn about potential hires' thought processes while working on a coding challenge.