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Author Archives: David Green

David Green is a developer and aspiring software craftsman. He has been programming for 20 years but only getting paid to do it for the last 10; in that time he has worked for a variety of companies from small start-ups to global enterprises.

Git stash driven development

I’ve found myself using a pattern quite often recently, which I’ve been calling “git stash driven development” – that is, relying heavily on the magic of git stash as part of my development workflow. Normally I follow what I think of as a fairly typical TDD workflow: Write next test, watch it fail Write code to make it pass Commit Refactor ...

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VW’s rogue software developers

So Michael Horn has thrown a couple of software developers under the proverbial bus by blaming them for the defeat device at the centre of the emissions scandal. Now, it is clearly ridiculous to suggest that a couple of rogue individuals single-handedly saved VW’s clean diesel engine program and nobody else had any idea what was going on. However, I ...

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Your DI framework is killing your code

I read a really interesting post recently looking at the difference between typical OO code and a more functional style. There’s a lot to be said for the functional style of coding, even in OO languages like Java and C#. The biggest downside I find is always one of code organisation: OO gives you a discoverable way of organising large amounts of ...

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Two people coding is twice as productive, right?

Stands to reason, doesn’t it? If one person can make 5 widgets an hour, then two people can make 10 widgets an hour. Its just the natural way of things. You can’t argue with science. The same is obviously true of software, isn’t it? If one developer can write 10 lines of code an hour, then clearly two can write 20 lines ...

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Dogma Driven Development

We really are an arrogant, opinionated bunch, aren’t we? We work in an industry where there aren’t any right answers. We pretend what we do is computer “science”. When in reality, its more art than science. It certainly isn’t engineering. Engineering suggests an underlying physics, mathematical models of how the world works. Is there a mathematical model of how to ...

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TDD Against the Clock

A couple of weeks ago I ran a “TDD Against the Clock” session. The format is simple: working in pairs following a strict red-green-refactor TDD cycle we complete a simple kata. However we add one key constraint: the navigator starts a five minute timer. As soon as the five minutes is up: If the code compiles and the tests are green, ...

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Pairing Patterns

Pair programming is hard. When most developers start pairing it feels unnatural. After a lifetime of coding alone, headphones on, no human contact; suddenly talking about every damned line of code can seem weird. Counter-productive, even. And yet… effective pairing is the cheapest way to improve code quality. Despite what superficially seems like a halving in productivity – after all, your ...

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Is pairing for everybody?

Pair programming is a great way to share knowledge. But every developer is different, does pairing work for everyone? Pairing helps a team normalise its knowledge – what one person knows, everyone else learns through pairing: keyboard shortcuts, techniques, practices, third party libraries as well as the details of the source code you’re working in. This pushes up the average level ...

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Are integration tests worth the hassle?

Whether or not you write integration tests can be a religious argument: either you believe in them or you don’t. What we even mean by integration tests can lead to an endless semantic argument. What do you mean? Unit tests are easy to define they test a single unit: a single class, a single method, make a single assertion on the behaviour ...

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Are comments always wrong?

A colleague asked me recently: Why aren’t developers writing comments any more? He’d been looking through some code his team had written, and couldn’t understand it – he was looking for comments to make sense of the mess, but there were none. Before he challenged the team, he asked my opinion: should developers be writing comments? Excessive Comments When I ...

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