WTA-71: Lightbot, Revisited

WTA-71: Lightbot, Revisited

Lightbot, Revisited

Date: Saturday, April 16, 2016
Time: 10am PDT – 12noon PDT
Facilitator: Michael Larsen

Attendees: Albert Gareev, Brendan Connolly, Charles Shriver, Jahanzib Nasim, Michael Bolton, Sandeep Garg, Srinivas Kadiyala, Venkatesh Shrinivas, Michael Larsen (as WTA)

A few years back, we explored a game that was designed to teach programming concepts to those who did not know how to program. That game is called Lightbot. Since we first looked at it, the game has expanded to include a Junior version for ages 4-8 and has made its way to a number of different platforms. We thought it would be fun to revisit this program and check out its variations. This will be a good old fashioned bug hunt and evaluation session, with a broad choice of where the participants will want to try out the app on whichever device they would like to use. Visit https://lightbot.com/hocflash.html and choose a platform, or use the version that runs in the browser.


For many, the app itself was a fun way to look at programming concepts and practice them, but that still left room for challenges in presentation. Some comments focused on the Localization, and how the comments in different languages were not accurate or were confusing. Additionally, as the user progressed through further levels, and the need for creating procedures became necessary, the ability to do small experiments with the algorithms they were developing became harder to do. Mentioned several times in the session was the fact that the music being muted, while still preserving the system sounds of the game itself (the robot moving, turning, jumping and lighting up the tiles) would be a great feature.

Full chat transcript can be seen here.


About the Author

I’m a software tester working with Socialtext in Palo Alto, CA. I have worked in a number of different fields and in a number of different capacities. I started my testing career in March of 1991. I am co-founder and primary facilitator for Weekend Testing Americas. I am a black-belt in the Miagi-do School of Software Testing, a member and Teacher in the Association for Software Testing, and the producer of Software Test Professionals' "This Week in Software Testing" podcast (now on hiatus).