Month: July 2020

TDD Tests Are First-Class Code

My standards for TDD microtests are the same standards I have for shipping code, and I follow them in microtests for the same reason I follow them in shipping code: they make me faster. This geekery muse is comfort food, for me and maybe for you, but I want to keep stressing: I fully endorse and support my sibs out there on the street protesting this violent police uprising. Stay safe, stay strong, stay kind, stay angry. Black lives matter. …

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Re-Balancing Made, Making, and Makers

Some years back I realized my most beloved parts of our software movement could be characterized as re-balancing our approach towards the triad of Made, Makers, and Making, and away from a prior focus only on the Made. Let’s schmooze about this. I once again point out: geekery isn’t terribly important right now to me. What’s important is my friends and family out there working on the crisis. Stay safe, stay strong, stay kind, stay angry. Black lives matter. I …

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Microtest TDD is Gray-Box

Microtest TDD is a gray-box testing approach, neither entirely inside nor outside the code it tests. Let’s talk that over. Before we dive in: Black lives matter. Stay safe, stay strong, stay kind, stay angry. Let’s not just embrace change, let’s initiate it. Any step you take helps, provided only that it’s doable, it’s not definitely backwards, and it’s not the last step. In the ’70’s, an important movement developed in testing theory, called "black box" testing. The idea is …

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Understanding Incremental Switchover

The incremental switchover approach is my default response to any transformation problem I can’t resolve in an hour. It’s the secret to successful brownfield development, but it’s not widely understood & used. Let’s take some time to understand it. As is my wont, I will again say that geekery isn’t really the most important story right now. I, and I hope you, understand this. Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay kind. Stay angry. Work on equity, when you can, how you …

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The RAT: Rework Avoidance Theory

Rework Avoidance Theory, or RAT, is likely slowing your team down more than rework ever would. Let’s talk a little about that today. I am writing these geekery muses in a time of great turmoil, but for the most part they’re not addressing that crisis. They are momentary respite, for me, and hopefully for you. They’re not the main story. Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay angry. Stay kind. Black lives matter. Rework Avoidance Theory is a cluster of related ideas …

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Turning Implicit into Explicit

Turning implicit understanding into explicit code is a great productivity & quality step. Let’s talk about some whys and hows for that idea. As we forge into the topic, please do remember, this is just comfort food, not the main story. I proudly support my friends & family who are working for change in the world, and encourage them to keep at it. Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay kind. Stay angry. Black lives matter. An implicit understanding is anything a …

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Model-View, The Desktop, and TDD

Today, a basic topic: Model/View, the Desktop and TDD. Some geeky respite, and enjoy. We got a lotta work waiting for us after this break. Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay kind. Stay angry. Black lives matter. Demand different. The basic idea behind all Model/View schemes, and there are several of them, is just this: draw a thick line between what your program does and how your program shows what it does. In other words, it’s a compositional heuristic, guidance for …

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Helping Your Downstream Collaborators

Let’s talk about ways to make life easier for downstream developers, be they front-end or dependent back-end people. (Folks, this is purposeful distraction. Respite is important, so enjoy some geekery, but geekery’s not going to get us out of this mess. Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay kind. Stay angry. Black lives matter.) Whether you have a bunch of front-end folks driven from your monolith, or you live in service-mesh land with dozens of microservices, the people downstream from you have …

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Metrics and Three Traps

Hey folks, let’s talk about three traps we fall into with metrics. (Before we begin, let me remind you, this is just comfort food: Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay kind. Stay angry. Black lives matter.) In twenty years of coaching software development teams, I’ve seen maybe a hundred or more orgs try to figure out how to measure their process, and the majority of them have fallen into some mix of three traps: 1) the more trap, 2) the objectivity …

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