New batch names

David Albert

Ever since we moved to overlapping batches, we’ve had a problem with our batch names. With eight batches a year, Summer, Fall, and Winter no longer make sense. For a while we’ve been avoiding the problem by embedding dates directly into the batch names, but that wasn’t an elegant solution.

Today we’re introducing new batch names. Batches will be named with a season, the number 1 or 2, and a year. For example, the batch starting on October 6th of this year is called Fall 2, 2014. Here is a full list of batch names for 2015:

  • Winter 2, 2015
  • Spring 1, 2015
  • Spring 2, 2015
  • Summer 1, 2015
  • Summer 2, 2015
  • Fall 1, 2015
  • Fall 2, 2015
  • Winter 1, 2015

It’s not a typo that Winter 2 comes before Winter 1. While it is confusing, we think the alternative isn’t much better: Winter 2, 2014 would be followed by Winter 1, 2015. We wish there was a perfect solution, but we feel a bit better knowing that naming is one of the two hard problems in Computer Science.1

Batch names can be abbreviated with the first letter of the season (e.g. F2'14). In the interest of disambiguation, the abbreviations for Spring and Summer use the first two letters of the season (Sp1'15 and Su2'16).

We’ve added the new batch names to our FAQ, apply page and the rest of our site. We’ve also retroactively applied the new names to all existing overlapping batches. If you find a place where we’re still using old batch names, please let us know.

  1. The others are cache invalidation and off-by-one errors.