Test My Code (“TMC”) is a suite of tools that has been designed to make the life of programming instructors and students easier, as well as provide beneficial input for computing education researchers.

Instructors benefit from the automatic bookkeeping facilities as well as the capability to build automated guidance into the programming assignments. By crafting most of the issues that students face into the tests as automated guidance, instructors can spend more face-to-face time explaining and helping students with more difficult concepts.

Students benefit from Test My Code as it provides support for downloading and submitting programming assignments directly from an IDE, removing the unnecessary steps related to manually downloading and uploading programming assignments. In addition, students’ learning can be more productive thanks to instructional scaffolding from the tests within the programming assignments. When these two features are combined, students simply can program more during a given time frame, which is especially useful in introductory programming courses, where large parts of the students’ struggle is related to applying and practising what they have just learned.

Researchers benefit from the data that is gathered from the students’ programming process. Test My Code provides a lightweight instrument for tracking students’ programming process on a key press by key press -level. This provides unprecedented insight into the learning process.

The system has been used with great success by thousands of users at universities such as the University of Helsinki and Aalto University. It is also the tool that enables many of the MOOCs offered at http://mooc.fi.

The code

All of the code is available under https://github.com/testmycode

TMC subsystems

The main components are:

System diagram

The current maintainers are @mpartel and @jamox.

IRC: #testmycode @ Freenode


Great, you want to contribute! Welcome! :)

If you find a bug, please report it into the issues! Make sure that you include steps that are needed to reproduce the bug – this makes hunting the bug down a lot more fun. In case of security issues or vulnerabilities, don’t disclose those in public or in our issue trackers, but let the maintainers to know promptly.

If you have an idea for a new feature, we recommend that you discuss the idea with the maintainers of TMC on IRC at #testmycode @ Freenode. This helps you to avoid duplicate effort as your idea may be worked on elsewhere as well – if no one is working on that feature, we can point you to the right component(s) for making the change. Also before you start working on a larger contribution, you should get in touch with us first through the issue tracker with your idea so that we can help out and possibly guide you. Coordinating up front makes it much easier to avoid frustration later on.

After that, just:

  1. Create a GitHub issue (or more) that describes your idea. The issue should be such that it can be completed based on the description. Provide pictures if needed.
  2. Find the correct repository that you are going to work with.
  3. Set up a development environment as described in the README file of each project. All projects can be developed with the latest Ubuntu LTS. Other Linux distributions may require some fiddling with. Root permissions are required.
  4. Create a branch for your work. Use descriptive branch names.
  5. Create a pull request from your branch, start with WIP:. Remember to push changes frequently.
  6. Write the solution into your branch. Make sure to provide automated tests as well, and make sure that your tests cover your implementation (see e.g. cobertura). Finally, check that your code follows the coding conventions described later in this document.
  7. Before submitting or updating a pull request, run the entire test suite. (We know it takes ages to run but it does catch a lot of bugs.)
  8. Let the reviewers know that your pull request is ready.

Make sure to update your pull request early and frequently to provide us time to go through your changes and give feedback. When working on large changes, do them in small iterations so that you can receive periodical code reviews that can, if needed, also be merged at reasonable checkpoints.

Coding conventions

Mostly just try to stick to the style you see used in the project. Don’t introduce new dependencies if close to same can be accomplished with existing dependency.




Reporting issues

It’s best to report issues in the correct GitHub repository. If in doubt, report to either the tmc-server or the tmc-netbeans repository.

Before reporting, please do a search to see if the issue has already been reported.

Feature requests are also welcome in the issue tracker.

You are also very welcome to ask any questions or discuss ideas on IRC at #testmycode @ Freenode.

Testing a pull request

First, create a branch to merge the changes into:

bash $ git checkout -b testing_branch Now merge their remote branch into your testing branch. For example, let’s say the GitHub user jamox has forked and pushed to a topic branch “feature” located at https://github.com/jamox/tmc-server.

bash $ git remote add jamox git://github.com/jamox/tmc-server.git $ git pull jamox feature

Remember to run database migrations and recompile things as necessary.

When you’re done, switch back to the master branch and delete the testing branch.

bash $ git checkout master $ git branch -D testing_branch