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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.

Pairing Patterns

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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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Why shouldn’t I test private methods?

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Newcomers to TDD ask some interesting questions, here’s one I was asked recently: testing private methods is bad, but why? How did we get here? If you’re trying to test private methods, you’re doing something wrong. You can’t get to TDD nirvana from here, you’re gonna have to go back. It all started with an innocuous little class with an innocuous ...

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Who is a senior developer anyway?

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What makes you a “senior developer”? Everyone and their dog calls themselves a senior developer these days. From fresh graduates to the CTO, everyone is a senior developer. But what the hell does it even mean? Technologists Some developers are avid technologists. They got into programming really because they like tinkering. If it hadn’t been 7 languages in 7 weeks, it would ...

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Choosing a Programming Language: Recruitment

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How do you choose the right language to use for your next project? Use the right tool for the job? Sure, but what does that mean? And how do I know what the right tool is? How do I get enough experience in a new language to know whether or not it is the right tool for the job? Your ...

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Choosing a Programming Language

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What programming language to use is probably the single biggest technical decision facing a project. That one decision, affects every one that follows – from the frameworks and libraries you can use, to the people you hire. So how do you go about choosing what programming language to use? The truth is, you probably do what most people do and ...

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Enterprise class Java code

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There’s a natural instinct to assume that everybody else’s code is an untidy, undisciplined mess. But, if we look objectively, some people genuinely are able to write well crafted code. Recently, I’ve come across a different approach to clean code that is unlike the code I’ve spent most of my career working with (and writing). Enterprise-class Code There’s a common ...

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Shame driven development

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I always aspire to write well-crafted code. During my day job, where all production code is paired on, I think our quality is pretty high. But it’s amazing how easy you forgive yourself and slip into bad habits while coding alone. Is shame the driving force behind quality while pairing? We have a number of archaic unit tests written using ...

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