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How Friction Slows Us Down in Software Development

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I once joined a project where running the “unit” tests took three and a half hours. As you may have guessed, the developers didn’t run the tests before they checked in code, resulting in a frequently red build. Running the tests just gave too much friction for the developers. I define friction as anything that resist the developer while she ...

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JavaFX 2 XYCharts and Java 7 Features

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One of my favorite features of JavaFX 2 is the standard charts it provides in its javafx.scene.chart package. This package provides several different types of charts out-of-the-box. All but one of these (the PieChart) are ‘2 axis charts’ (specific implementations of the XYChart). In this post, I look at the commonality between these specializations of XYChart. Along the way, I ...

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One jar to rule them all

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Trip down the memory lane Back in 1998, when I was a C/C++ developer, trying my hands on Java, a few things about the language were, to put it mildly – irritating – for me. I remember fretting about these quite a lot             Why isn’t there a decent editor for this? C/C++ had quite ...

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Scala pattern matching: A Case for new thinking?

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The 16th President of the United States. Abraham Lincoln once said: ‘As our case is new we must think and act anew’. In software engineering things probably aren’t as dramatic as civil wars and abolishing slavery but we have interesting logical concepts concerning ‘case’. In Java the case statement provides for some limited conditional branching. In Scala, it is possible ...

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Managing the Stream of Features in an Agile Program

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One of the challenges in a program is how you manage the checkins, especially if you have continuous integration. I am quite fond of continuous integration, no matter how large your program is. I also like short iterations. (Remember Short is Beautiful?) But imagine a product where you have a platform and layers. I’m separating the GUI and the API ...

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Dry parameter names

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How often do you see code like this, especially when using dependency injection, single-responsibility principle, and other “good practices”?                   class FriendsTimelineReader(userFinder: UserFinder, userStatusReader: UserStatusReader, statusSecurityFilter: StatusSecurityFilter) { ... } Note that the parameter names are exact copies of the class name. That’s certainly not DRY! In Java writing such code is ...

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Good & Bad Patterns in Development and Operations

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As part of my role at a new company I’ve been asked to provide feedback about structuring Dev & Ops as well as what sorts of things work and don’t. I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, but I’ve seen some very functional and some very dysfunctional organizations. I’ve spent a fair amount of time thinking about what ...

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Design Doesn’t Emerge from Code

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I know a lot of people who are transitioning to Agile or already following Agile development methods. Almost all of them are using something based on Scrum at the core, mixed with common XP practices like Continuous Integration and refactoring and automated unit testing – pretty much how Mike Cohn says things should be done in his book Succeeding with ...

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