The following excerpt pulled directly from http://butunclebob.com/ArticleS.UncleBob.TheBowlingGameKata
What's a kata?
A kata is meant to be memorized. Students of a kata study it as a form, not as a conclusion. It is not the conclusion of the kata that matters, it's the steps that lead to the conclusion. If you want to lean to think the way I think, to design the way I design, then you must learn to react to minutia the way I react. Following this form will help you to do that. As you learn the form, and repeat it, and repeat it, you will condition your mind and body to respond the way I respond to the minute factors that lead to design decisions.
Michael Feathers has long pondered the concept of "Design Sense". Good designers have a "sense" for design. They can convert a set of requirements into a design with little or not effort. It's as though their minds were wired to translate requirements to design. They can "feel" when a design is good or bad. They somehow intrinsically know which design alternatives to take at which point.
Perhaps the best way to acquire "Design Sense" is to find someone who has it, put your fingers on top of theirs, put your eyeballs right behind theirs, and follow along as they design something. Learning a kata may be one way of accomplishing this.
If you wish to try this style of learning, I suggest you proceed by memorizing it in short sections. Fully learn one section before adding the next. I have broken the kata up into five short sections. Learn each in order, and don't learn the next until you have mastered the previous. Move slowly and deliberately. DO NOT RUSH. A kata needs to seep into your bones, and this take time.
Here are the sections to memorize:
- The First Test
- The Second Test
- The Third Test
- The Fourth Test
- The Fifth Test
There is also a preamble section entitled "A Quick Design Session". This is part of the kata when demonstrating TDD to others, but is not part of the "Design Sense" of the kata itself.