Developer Testing

I recently found out about the book Developer Testing – Building Quality Into Software by Alexander Tarlinder, and I immediately wanted to read it. Even though I am a developer at heart, I have always been interested in software testing (I even worked as a tester for two years).

I think the subject of the book, developer testing, is timely. There seems to be a broad trend where more and more responsibility for testing is given to developers. It follows from the move towards micro services, dev ops and the “you built it, you run it” principle. Another driving force is the prevalence of developer testing frameworks that started with JUnit and now includes many more. These frameworks encourage and help developers write automatic tests.

Despite this trend of increasing developer testing, my feeling is that many developers still don’t test their programs well enough. For example, they may test the “happy path”, but not the different error handling cases. That is why I was excited about this new book explicitly addressing developer testing. Continue reading

Programming Conference – QCon New York 2017

Last week I attended a software development conference, QCon in New York. Here are my impressions of it, as well as some thoughts on programming conferences in general. Continue reading

Developers – Talk To People

Many software developers have a tendency to avoid talking to people. They would rather just rely on written communication in chats, email or issue tracker tickets. However, talking to people more can make them more effective as software developers. Here are some examples: Continue reading

Code Rot

In my experience, code can rot in two distinct ways. The first case is code that hasn’t been used in a long time, but where the environment has changed so it is no longer possible to run the code. In the second case, the code still works, but has gradually become complicated and hard to work with. The first case is unusual, but straight forward to fix. The second case is very common, but unfortunately hard to fix if left for too long.

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Programmer Career Planning

Here are my thoughts on programmer career planning. You should always stay employable, mostly by changing jobs regularly (every five years or so). When changing, don’t wait until you have to. Your negotiating position is much better when you can turn down a potential new job.

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Software Development and the Gig Economy

These days it is common to hear arguments that software development is becoming gig based. In other words, companies will not hire programmers for permanent positions. Instead, they will put together temporary teams of independent contractors from anywhere in the world to complete projects.

This is no doubt true for some software development tasks. However, for companies whose core product is software, this model makes very little sense.dsc_0244 Continue reading

Book Review: The Effective Engineer

Last month we finished reading “The Effective Engineer” by Edmond Lau in the book club at work. It is a great book full of practical advice on how to get more done as a software developer. In fact, it is one of the three books I think all programmers would benefit from reading (the other two are Code Complete and The Pragmatic Programmer).

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