About 40 or so smart, engaged people attended the Scripting Web Tests (with Watir and Ruby) class. It was very interesting, this is the first time I've taught the class to students of whom the majority have a programming background. Luckily, very few had Ruby experience, so the class was still able to emphasize the exploring and experimenting that is such an important part of the presentation .
And since this was the Agile conference, the majority of the attendees were experienced pair programmers, and were eager to collaborate and share laptops and code around their tables. By the middle of exercise 2, the noise level was amazing, and the students were crazy productive. Usually we take five or six hours for this material, but this class blasted through just about everything in less than 3 hours. So many people had jumped ahead on the material that after completing exercise 3, I simply encouraged folks to try anything they wanted to try out of exercises 4, 5, and 6.
And in what seemed to be a coordinated attack of guerilla kindness, Elisabeth Hendrickson and Michael Bolton both showed up within minutes of each other and jumped in, troubleshooting, pair programming, contributing tricks and hacks. Thanks Elisabeth and Michael, you put the whole experience over the top.
Finally, I am still encouraging other people to teach this class. It is unlikely that I will teach it myself again anytime soon, so if you'd like to discuss teaching the Scripting Web Tests class yourself at a conference or user group or anything, leave a comment or drop me a line.