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Software Development

Three Corners of Boolean

Let’s be honest, no good ever came out of a null boolean value! However, it’s common for boolean to prove not quite good enough to represent what’s going on. This is where you’re dealing with a false dichotomy in something. I’m reminded of a potentially apocryphal story about a UK politician: Him: the problem is that half of them are ...

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Oversharing on Set Up

Consider the following fictitious test fixture code: beforeEach(() => { databaseConnection = openDatabase(); inputFile = loadBigFile(); userList = loadUserList(); imageData = loadImageBytes(); }); If I see something like that, run before EACH test case, I have a visceral reaction. Surely we can’t need to go through this effort for each and every test? There are a few possible root causes ...

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Syntactic Sugar Is Not Always Good

This write-up is partly inspired by a recent post by Vlad Mihalcea on LinkedIn about the recently introduced text blocks in Java. More about them can be read here. Now, that’s a nice feature. I’ve used it in Scala several years ago, and other languages also have it, so it seems like a no-brainer to introduce it in Java. But, ...

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Where is Apache Spark heading?

I watched (COVID19-era version of “attended”) the latest spark Summit and in one of the keynotes Reynold Xin from Databricks, presented the following two images comparing spark usage on their platform on 2013 vs. 2020: While Databricks’ platform is, of course, not the whole spark community, I would wager that they have enough users to represent the overall trend. Incidentally, ...

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A tale of two migrations

Within an enterprise, there are services (systems really) which are widely popular, offer just what you need and are easy to use. There are also systems, which for years the organization tries to decommission but they have so many applications depending on them, so many strings attached, it seems impossible. Often, it’s the same system, at different points in time. ...

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