Welcome to Chatbuilder!

In this exercise, you and another precourse student together will implement the front-end of a basic chatroom application. You'll write a ton of Javascript; get your first taste of pair programming while you gain practical experience using jQuery, one of the most popular JavaScript libraries. Plus you'll get experience interacting with a server.

Your Objectives

  • Work through Chatbuilder by following the interactive guide
  • Practice good pair programming while you get to know other precourse students
  • Gain valuable experience in communicating effectively with another developer
  • Search Google, MDN, StackOverflow, etc. when you run into a problem you're not sure how to solve
  • Have a high-level understanding of the code you've written for Chatbuilder
  • Understand how to use the methods we ask you to rewrite in the assignments

Don't stress over memorizing HTML, jQuery, or AJAX specifics. Turns out that memorization is generally an anti-pattern in learning how to write code. Rather, your goal as a pair should be to help one another reason about and understand the code you are writing.

Pairing Day is a great opportunity to begin to develop one of the most important skills a software engineer can have: effective technical communication. We see this as one of the most valuable skills that contribute to success in the job market following completion of the program. As you work, hold yourself and your pair accountable for speaking and communicating clearly.

Getting Help

If you run into any serious roadblocks while working on Chatbuilder that you can't Google your way out of, follow the instructions provided to you by the Mentor/Facilitator running this exercise to reach out to them for assistance. When asking a question, follow these guidelines:

  • Give yourself time to research a problem. Make certain to talk through and test any theories with your pair.
  • Ask a well-formulated question about a specific issue
  • Describe the research you've done thus far
  • Be prepared to show the facilitator your code

Completing the Exercise

Although you should strive to complete the exercise during Pairing Day, not all pairs complete Chatbuilder before the day is over. In that event, make sure that both pairs have a copy of the code that you have written and feel free, each of you, to continue on your own.

If you do complete the exercise, contact the Mentor/Facilitator. They will have additional exercises that you can work on together that will challenge you in a different way than Chatbuilder does.