Level 2: Prerelease Edition

Have you practised TDD for a while, but want to “level up”? Would you like to feel more confident in your refactoring and design skills? Do you need answers to those difficult tradeoff questions that most of us encounter? And are you prepared for something different?!

The Short Version

Wondering about joining late? Don’t worry! There are no scheduled lectures and no deadlines for assignments. You can’t fall behind and there’s no need to catch up. Yes, you will have missed some discussions and some ensemble programming sessions, but everyone learns at a different pace, anyway. You’re welcome to join until December 15, 2021 if you think that leaves you enough time to get enough of what you need from this experience.

Intrigued? Read on or buy now.

Programmers Wanted For Hazardous Journey…

I launched The World’s Best Intro to TDD: Level 1 in 2013 as a 6-week live/remote course after a decade of teaching the course live in front of real people. This led me to produce a self-study version of the course in March 2015, which has become an authoritative introductory course in programmer testing, test-first programming, and evolutionary design through test-driven development. In 2021, I launched the Online Community edition of the course, which adds a supportive, collaborative environment to the self-study experience.

I named this course “Level 1”, because I always intended to produce more courses. Whereas Level 1 introduces the fundamentals, students generally need time and space to refine their skill. Few people can read a book once and deeply understand everything in it, even if it’s an incredibly thorough book! Similarly, students who complete Level 1 have all the tools they need to practise, but it’s rare the programmer who learns all the rest on their own. I had trusted advisers helping me as I struggled to master the fundamentals of test-driven development.

Not long after I launched Level 1, students began to ask me when I was producing Level 2. To be frank, it’s hard. I taught my standard “Level 1” course dozens of times in front of a live audience at companies and conferences before I could anticipate 80% of the participants’ questions and even answer those questions before anyone asked. This repetitive practice made it easy to lock myself in my studio for 4 days and record the video that became Series 2-6 of the Level 1 course. (Editing, naturally, took a lot longer.) I haven’t had that kind of practice with “Level 2”, also known as Evolutionary Design: Beyond the Basics.

Not only that, but teaching the fundamentals to a diverse group of people is relatively easy. Most of them have the same experience with test-first programming and evolutionary design: almost none. This makes the course complicated-but-not-complex. The vast majority of people in an introductory course need to learn the same topics, practise the same exercises, will ask the same questions… not so for Level 2! This is a complex course, consisting of more-varied people with more-varied experience and move-varied areas of interest. Frankly, I’m not sure that I can even produce a self-study version Level 2, but I’d like to try.


That’s why I propose something different: the equivalent of a semester-long university-style course in Evolutionary Design. From November 1, 2021 to March 15, 2022, you can join a group of hardy programmers who want to learn and practise together, who trust me to guide them without a map, but who merely know that they want to go that way towards greater confidence, skill, and ease in guiding designs to evolve.

I call this the “Prerelease” edition, in case I manage to find a path to producing a self-study course in all this. Maybe I won’t. Maybe this course will continue mostly as it is: an Online Community course supplemented by video content. Who knows? I only know that it’s a prerelease of something. We’ll take 4 months (plus a 2-week break at the end of December) to figure it out.

The Plan

We’ll combine these elements into a course in the style of “Directed Readings” and “Term Project”.

Most importantly, whatever goes wrong, I’ll make it right.


I know that this description might sound incomplete, so if you need to do so, ask me a question.

Buy Now!

Are you already in? Great! Buy this course now and encourage your colleagues to show the same courage that you’re showing. It might be strange and it might be tumultuous, but it will be fun!