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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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jinfo: Command-line Peeking at JVM Runtime Configuration

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In several recent blogs (in my reviews of the books Java EE 7 Performance Tuning and Optimization and WildFly Performance Tuning in particular), I have referenced my own past blog posts on certain Oracle JDK command-line tools. I was aghast to discover that I had never exclusively addressed the nifty jinfo tool and this post sets to rectify that troubling ...

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My Favorite IntelliJ IDEA Features

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I have been a long time user (and customer) of IntelliJ IDEA. I think I have started using it around 2005 or 2006, version 5.0 at the time. I was an Eclipse user back then. A few of my colleagues recommended it to me, and at first I was not convinced, but after trying it out I was impressed. Now ...

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5 Things I’ve learnt being a scrum master

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I’ve been a scrum master now for about 6 months. Having been involved in scrum previously as a product owner, as well as a developer, moving into this role has really opened my eyes to some of the more political and arguably awkward elements of trying to get rid of impediments. Stay calm when others aren’t Something that I think ...

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Test Attribute #10 – Isolation

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This is last, final, and 10th entry in the ten commandments of test attributes that started here. And you should read all of them. We usually talk about isolation in terms of mocking. Meaning, when we want to test our code, and the code has dependencies, we use mocking to fake those dependencies, and allow us to test the code ...

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Java Concurrency Tutorial – Atomicity and race conditions

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Atomicity is one of the key concepts in multi-threaded programs. We say a set of actions is atomic if they all execute as a single operation, in an indivisible manner. Taking for granted that a set of actions in a multi-threaded program will be executed serially may lead to incorrect results. The reason is due to thread interference, which means ...

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A Wonderful SQL Feature: Quantified Comparison Predicates (ANY, ALL)

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Have you ever wondered about the use-case behind SQL’s ANY (also: SOME) and ALL keywords? You have probably not yet encountered these keywords in the wild. Yet they can be extremely useful. But first, let’s see how they’re defined in the SQL standard. The easy part:           8.7 <quantified comparison predicate> Function Specify a quantified comparison. ...

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The most important factor in software decay

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Do you have big balls of mud? Here’s an experiment to amaze your friends. You probably listen to music on your phone via some sort of headset. The headset we shall consider here consists of two earbuds (in-ear pieces, rather than head-phones which cover the ears) connected via wires to a jack which plugs into the phone itself. Disconnect your ...

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Autoboxing, Unboxing, and NoSuchMethodError

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J2SE 5 introduced numerous features to the Java programming language. One of these features is autoboxing and unboxing, a feature that I use almost daily without even thinking about it. It is often convenient (especially when used with collections), but every once in a while it leads to some nasty surprises, “weirdness,” and “madness.” In this blog post, I look ...

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The Emergence of DevOps and the Fall of the Old Order

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Software Engineering has always been dependent on IT operations to take care of the deployment of software to a production environment. In the various roles that I have been in, the role of IT operations has come in various monikers from “Data Center” to “Web Services”. An organisation delivering software used to be able to separate these roles cleanly. Software ...

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