When online courses go wrong

So I'm getting up to speed on go-lang for a project I'm working on.  Since my company provides us with access to PluralSight, I've been going through the courses and projects in their Go pathway.

So far most of the courses have been pretty decent.  However, the projects are a different story.  The first one I did was fine - not particularly enlightening, but OK.  The second one, the Go CLI playbook, to be perfectly frank, is garbage.  At least, the first module is garbage.  I can't really speak to the rest because I can't get past the first module.

Now, in my own defense, it's not like the first module is hard.  In fact, it's completely trivial.  It basically comes down to "run go env > module1.txt ; go env -json > module1.json and then submit the result.  It even comes with a test file you can run locally.  So far so good.

The problem is, it doesn't work on Windows.  Like, doesn't work at all.  For starters, if you're running Powershell, output redirected to a file defaults to UTF-16 encoding, which is standard for Windows, but not for Go apparently.  Second, the go env command generates environment variables in an OS-specific format.  On Windows, that means it generates a file that can be consumed by cmd.exe.  Which is fine, except the project test file blithely assumes that the environment file is going to be in UNIX shell format, so the "set" at the start of each line makes it choke.

Well, that sucks.  Guess I'll just use WSL.  When I run the commands there and run the tests, they pass.  Great!  Let's upload the result and get on with our lives.  Except that doesn't work, because the tests fail when run in PluralSight's validator.  I don't know why.  My best guess is that something in the upload process is mangling the encoding.  I do know that it apparently doesn't run the test file you upload, so you can't hack around whatever the bug is.

The worst part is that you can't progress to the rest of the project until you "pass" that section.  So I'm pretty much just out of luck.  Maybe the rest of the course has some great material.  Or maybe it's equally useless.  Who knows?  Maybe it's just this project - so far the others I've tried have been OK.  Although I did have one other module where all the tests passed locally, but failed on upload.  But in that case, I at least had a legitimate bug in my code.  Why the tests passed locally is a different problem, though....

You can reply to this entry by leaving a comment below. This entry accepts Pingbacks from other blogs. You can follow comments on this entry by subscribing to the RSS feed.

Add your comments #

A comment body is required. No HTML code allowed. URLs starting with http:// or ftp:// will be automatically converted to hyperlinks.