This post which has been fermenting for more than 18 months but remains nothing more than a half-baked idea.
Last Christmas Lucy and I snuck off into London to see Alan Bennett's The History Boys. It's British to the core, and captures what it was like to for someone of my generation to attend a state school from my part of the world. An excellent cast and universal themes explain why it's now on Broadway and in advanced production as a feature film.
Dear geeks, may I humbly suggest you take any chance to see this because not only does this explain why your 40+ year old hairy-arsed northern-blogger is how he is*, it also provides a warning for those of us who advocate Test Driven Development..
[minor spoiler:] The story surrounds a group of VI formers and the school's ambition that as many of them should go to Oxbridge, something no pupil from the school had achieved previously. Rather than providing them with an all-round education, the students are trained to pass the entrance exam itself. The results aren't exactly as intended, :
Irwin: What happened at Oxford?
Man: Cambridge. It didn't work out.
Irwin: I think I heard that.
Man: All the effort went into getting there and then I had nothing left. I thought I got somewhere, but then I found I had to go on.
In life as well as coding, you may pass all the tests presented, but remain unprepared for production.
*at no point did I get to "enjoy" a ride on my teacher's motorbike ;-)