Detail: Not The Long Game

I was gratified by the response to my first "detail" article. But I did note that many persons praised my article for its commitment to the long game. Framing the commitment, for a geek, to detail, as a long game, seems right, sounds right, cuz after all, we only ever care about quality in the long game. And this is why y’all can’t convince anyone to do this or think this or feel this. When does a bad variable name …

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Detail: Series Intro

Detail: The thing that strikes me over and over again, in my own work style, in my Friday group’s analytics, in Ron’s long-running Kotlin and short-running Gilded Rose series, is how much attention high-skill geeks pay to some of the smallest details in the code. An example. I was doing Gilded Rose the other day, first time in years, and we start with the ugly method, which we’re asked to add a feature to, following certain constraint rules to make …

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TDD Pro-Tip: Against Automated Macrotests

TDD Pro-Tip: I advocate against automated macro-tests — those whose base is entire running programs –, as their cost is high and their benefit is doubtful. I very rarely write them. There is a bewildering variety of terminology out there around what I’m calling macro-tests, so let’s poke around a little. The central idea of "macro-test" is that we write code that launches an entire subject program and probes its behavior "from the outside". There are often multiple programs in …

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On Over-Coding

Let’s talk for a minute about "over-coding". Over-coding, when you’re a TDD’ist, is writing more code than you (intended to) have test to cover. But I will offer a few thoughts on this to non TDD’ers and TDD’ers alike. Many people, pro-TDD and con- both, seem to think of TDD as the name for a collection or rigorous mechanical rules. TDD is a kind of jack-in-the-box, where you sit there and turn the handle, circle circle circle, and out pops …

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On Not Knowing

When I was a wee lad, 28, 29, 30, I knew the C Windows API by heart. I had, in my bathroom, both the technical docs and a copy of Petzold, and I knew it cold, stone cold. Every one of the ~500 calls, all of the arguments, and for most of them, the order of the arguments. I was a good programmer because I was a terrific memorist: I could learn things by heart, and I could organize them …

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The Shadows of Software Design

On the cover of Hofstadter’s famous Godel, Escher, and Bach, there’s a photo of an artifact he made, called a "trip-let". The trip-let, when lit from three different angles, produces shadows that spell out "G", "E", and "B". Let’s talk about software design. Before we dig in: I love to think & talk about geekery, but it’s comfort food, not my most important story. Take a break, enjoy this thread, but please stay in the larger game with me, which …

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Me, Gary, and TDD

True story: Eighteen or so years ago, I had a gig rolling code at an engineering company. We were writing a windows app using Microsoft Foundation Classes to drive a TTY interface to a box of various radio hardware junk. I was gigged in by a guy I’d taught a c;ass (in MFC) to, because he liked that I knew my shit, and he loved that I spoke openly about joy, right in the classroom. right in front of God …

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Real Programming S01E09: Making A Start, Starting A Making

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Real Programming

Real Programming S01E09: Making A Start, Starting A Make? This time, we’re going to start our making app. What’s a making app? Come and see! If you want to follow along in the code, the project is at github. Hey. Welcome to Real Programming. The show where even after taking many months of break time, we still don’t have a slogan. My people are getting with the slogan team. We’re going to try to figure out what’s going on with …

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MMMSS – A Closer Look at Steps

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Many More Much Smaller Steps

Earlier, we sketched out MMMSS, Many More Much Smaller Steps, laying out the bare bones. Cool, cool, but now we need to thicken our sense of the idea. Today, let’s close in a little more on what "step" means to us. Many Much More Smaller Steps – First Sketch | GeePawHill.Org The first plank of my take on fixing the trade is MMMSS: If you want more value faster, take Many More Much Smaller Steps. Today I want to start …

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