Friday, September 23, 2011

Presenting “Taking Baby Steps with Node.js” at Agile.NET 2011 Europe

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be doing an introductory presentation on Node.js at the Agile.NET 2011 conference. While having a look at the other sessions and speakers, I’m quite honored to be able to join these smart bunch of craftsmen. In fact, I’m still amazed that the organizers accepted my proposal. But hey, they’ll probably let me do my talk somewhere in the basement anyway :-).

You probably figured out by now that you can’t afford to miss these two days of high quality learning, especially if you live in the European part of the world. If you live in Belgium or the Netherlands, you simply don’t have any valid excuse for not attending.

If you haven’t registered yet, be sure to do this in the upcoming week in order to get an early-bird discount. And in addition, I can even hook you up with an additional 50 Euro discount. Just drop me a line.

Hope to see you there. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

My First Day at iChoosr

Today was my very first day at iChoosr, a small internet startup that focuses on Vendor Relationship Management. I’ll be working there as a web developer in a small team of very bright people. Working for a small startup is a totally new experience for me. So I’m very excited about what the future will bring.  

Pretty sure there’s lots of learning ahead of me Smile

Friday, September 09, 2011

An Observation about TDD

To me, developers that are not applying TDD practices during their day-to-day job always seem more in a hurry than developers that do apply red-green-refactor. In their hurry, they're the first to cut corners and start making messes while they rush to their goal. A while ago it dawned to me why that is. They subconsciously want to get feedback as soon as possible about the code they're writing. They cut corners and generally mess up their code in order to prevent spending those extra hours and days to keep things clean. Constantly refactoring and cleaning up their code is restraining them from having the feedback they so desperately want.

Humans are in fact feedback junkies. We constantly want to know how we're doing what we're doing. I actually wrote a blog post about this a couple of years ago.

Since I adopted TDD as a discipline, I tend to feel less pressured which results in me taking the time to continuously refactor the code I'm working on, trying to keep everything clean. Why? Because I known that the code I wrote a minute ago works. The tests I write constantly give me a shot of feedback so that I'm constantly hooked. 

Just an observation ...

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Book Review: The Clean Coder

The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers

Earlier this week I finished reading Uncle Bob’s latest book The Clean Coder. Robert C. Martin is a great writer and I very much enjoyed reading his previous books. His latest work is no exception and I found it to be yet again a fascinating read.

This book is all about professionalism. This is something that is very much needed in the field of software development. It describes how a professional software craftsman behaves, how he deals with tight schedules, irrational decisions made by managers (for those rare occasions that this happens), conflicts and so forth. The preface of the book takes you right by the throat, talking about the Challenger disaster. This has been applied to the field of software engineering many times already (check out this blog post from Gustavo Duarte which is one of my all-time favorites), but still, it definitely never wears off.

The book is filled with stories and anecdotes from the rich career of the author and the lessons he learned during these 40+ years in the IT industry. Some of the ideas in there are definitely challenging (like staying out of the zone and building up focus instead), but nonetheless they put a very  interesting perspective on things.

Don’t let yourself get carried away by some of the hard statements but try to focus on the underlying ideas and try to think back on some of the good and bad situations that you ran into during your own career. Trying to reflect on those moments and considering how we could act more professionally lies at the heart of improving ourselves. I definitely learned a lot while reading this book and I encourage you to pick up a copy as soon as possible and take some time to read it.

Two thumbs up!