TechnologyWe are a team of researchers investigating software development practices, in particular Test-driven development. AuA!
Oct 18th 2016 by SEResearch • 28 Questions • 78 Points
Hi, we are candidates of the Icelandic Pirate party and we have an election coming up on the 29th of October. These are exciting times in Icelandic politics because we are dealing with a post recession economy and the aftermath of the Panama papers leak where the Prime minister had to resign due to his connection with offshore accounts.
The Icelandic Pirate party got 5% in the last congressional election and are currently polling as the largest party at just over 20%. The amazing thing about that is not only that the Pirate party is the largest political party (by a slim margin) but also that the Independence party which has historically been the largest party by far is only polling at around 20%. The political landscape in Iceland has rarely been as exciting and the possibility for change is real.
We have MPs Birgitta Jónsdóttir and Ásta Guðrún Helgadóttir and candidate Smári McCarthy here to answer your questions.
UPDATE: Thanks for all the questions so far! We're signing out for the evening, but we'll monitor the thread tomorrow at least and respond to any new questions. There are a few questions that haven't been responded to yet ─ don't worry, we'll get to them! Thanks again, and more fun soon! - Smári, Ásta and Birgitta.
Many say that you score so high in the polls because of young people say that they will vote you because it seems "cool" and then the majority of young voters won't show up for the election day. Any thoughts about that?
We are a team of researchers in universities (Professors, Post-doc, and PhD student). Thanks for asking, we should have clarified that better
Ásta: Maybe. But we actually have good support in all age groups according to polls. Just that we are polling with around 40% support in the youngest age group, 18-29 years old. And it is true that it's a generation that's unlikely to go and vote. And I think that's concerning that young people are not showing up on election day.
In the F# circles there is a decent amount of buzz around TDD as an acronym for Type-Driven Development instead of Test-Driven Development, utilizing the more expressive type system in order to make representing invalid state impossible instead of trying to write tests for them.
Are there any research, old or current, into actual applications of this and the result?
Also, on the topic of Test-Driven Development, are there any interesting research on the effects of tools/frameworks such as QuickCheck or FsCheck that force you to write property-based tests instead of the more "normal" type of tests?
Hi there! As a citizen of Iceland in my twenties I have a few questions for you. I'd like to start by stating that I like most of what you are doing and what you have stood for so far. I will be voting for you in the coming election, unless something huge happens to sway my opinion.
Now. You guys have a huge following with the young people in Iceland. I'm wondering what you are thinking about doing for us. Life for students has, I think, never been harder than it is right now. The student loan situation is horrible and the Renting Market is in the gutter.
Do you guys have any plans to fix this? What are your thoughts on the renters market and what can be done to make things easier? Is the only option for students in Iceland to flee the country, just to be able to study what they want?
I would love a bit of insight :)
Not familiar with Type-Driven Development, but is sounds fascinating. However, keep in mind that Test-DD is not much about testing, but about design.
There is plenty of research of dynamically vs. static type but I am not aware of any kind of research about Type-DD. I gonna look at it definitively.
Being TDD more about design than testing, I am afraid that there is not much done in this direction. However, some studies tried to "augment" TDD by adding a phase that focuses on "traditional" idea of testing (and random testing might be a good option as well).
Thank for your input. Really appreciate it.
Ásta: Hi Snojo and thanks for your questions! I agree with you that life for the young has become worse, or at least, it hasn't gotten any better compare to other generations. I was a poor student very recently so I am familiar with the situation. It is necessary to fix some of the problems that we know of in the student loan system, and make part of it into a grant. Also - monthly payments of student loans would make students so much more aware on how much they're spending. AND that income roof that's put on students is absurdly low, it's so easy to just raise that. And just fix the whole attitude in this LÍN institution. I could go on and on and on on that.
We need more rental apartments, and we need the airbnb apartments that are basically just run as a hotel, we need those apartments back on the long term renting market. It's probably around 1000-2000 apartments that are on the airbnb market and noone keeps a home there. Also, we need relax a bit on the building regulations. Not everyone needs to have a car, thus, having a car cellar in every new building should not be a requirement.
Currently, in my opinion, the best bet is to leave Iceland. The only reason I'm in Iceland is because of this amazing opportunity that the Pirate Party has created. We have a chance of fixing so many things that are wrong and make Iceland into the country we want it to be, that I believe we can turn it into. There is hope - the grass is not always greener on the other side - but I seriously feel you and have been there myself!
As someone who works in industry, I'm glad this exists. I think it is mostly because our dev team believes in this design process but my company does not so we are forced to develop blind while other teams push changes which break their own code without tests. My question is this. What is your end goal, and how would you convince people to develop/adopt in this approach? Ultimately it is up to the CTO and other senior tech leaders but convincing them out of their ways can be difficult.
Do you think you get negative light because of the name? Because it feels like the older generation see it like Illegal Download = Pirate Party
A little disclaimer: we are not trying to sell TDD to every industry, and we do not have any interest in doing so.
Our research goal is to understand when and in which context TDD actually brings benefit, and when it could be unnecessary or detrimental.
Of course, such claims should be backed up by rigorous scientific evidence. Unfortunately, CTOs sometimes do not believe in evidence, and I think is our duty to educate them.
Ásta: Well, words only have the meaning we give to them. It hasn't been a problem so far.
Smári: To be honest, we don't have a policy on it either way. Personally, I'm definitely in favour of protecting ecosystems and the species in it. I'd happily get behind a whaling ban if the data suggested that it'd help the ecosystem, but I've seen data that suggests that the whale population might be threatening other populations in the sea... so I'm totally torn. Ultimately we need to do whatever is best for the environment. In the meantime, I do like a good minke steak, even if I wouldn't be too sad to not be able to have it again.
I'm really interested in Iceland, but I'm unfamiliar with your political landscape. For starters, why are you called the Pirate Party, and why do you think you are currently favored in the polls?
Smári: In short, there are 12 parties running in the current elections, polling from virtually nothing to around 22%. We're called the Pirate Party in reference to a global movement of Pirate Parties that popped up over the last decade. Despite our name, we're taken fairly seriously in Iceland, in particular because of our very aggressive anti-corruption stance, our pro-transparency work, and our general push in the direction of a more information-driven society with strong civil liberties.
Will the pirate party be a non authoritarian form of government?
I'am a diligent endorser of the original endorsement of participant controlled governance. Wouldn't it be more simple to reduce power of state government and hand it to local government to be able to shorten the distance between voters and their representatives?
Ásta: Well, the mission is to make a more non-authoritarian form of government, so, yes. In Iceland the distance between voters and local government on one hand and national government on the other hand isn't the same as you'd get in larger, more populous countries. But I generally agree with the notion of bringing the power back to the people.
Did you take a look at Pirate Parties in other countries and learn from their achievements/mistakes?
The German PP was quite popular some years ago but lost a lot in popularity due to internal conflicts and not having answers for any political questions outside the IT sector.
Birgitta: Yes we did, we have worked quite a lot with, for example, the Pirate MEPs and Pirates from all over Europe. We have also worked with other political movements from around the world who have been inspiring the general public to participate in co-creating their societies. We like to learn from others, both mistakes and successes. Remixing good policies is critical at these times of quickening.
Birgitta. Every time a foreign media outlet interviews you, you are portrayed as potentially being the next PM of Iceland. Last time this happened was on Friday, when the Washington Post named you "possibly the country’s next leader". When you are asked by the Icelandic media if you want to be the next PM, you always say no. Why is that? Are the foreign reporters misunderstanding the situation? Have you ever tried to correct them?
Birgitta: I tell them this is not what I am seeking and that we have horizontal structure. They want juicy headlines. Just like the Icelandic media play it out as if Katrin Jakobsdóttir will be the next PM, even if she has never said she wants it. You can have a look at my faq at my web page if you dont believe me :) http://birgitta.is/92-2/
Why are you doing this AMA in English? Aren't Icelandic speaking redditors your potential voters?
Smári: Just for fun. The idea came up because we were getting a lot of attention from foreign media, and thought there might be more interest among people who don't speak Icelandic. Also, virtually everybody in Iceland speaks really good English.
What's your opinion of the British and Norwegian fishing industry near Iceland and do you plan on raiding it?
Smári: We've won three cod wars against Britain. They had warships, we had awesome fishermen. Nuff' said. :-)
Hello, I'm looking forward to visiting Iceland right before your elections! I'm wondering what your voter turnout usually is? And any cool places to hang out this week? Good Luck on election day!
Ásta: Check out Stofan, Vinyl, Skúli, Micro Bar, Port9 and Reykjavík Roasters. All good places.
The turnout is usually pretty good so we are crossing our fingers! The young people are the ones most likely to sit at home so GO OUT AND VOTE PEOPLE!