Agile Acceptance Testing

This looks interesting. The role of testing (at least, testing beyond unit-level regression testing and TDD) is the subject of much discussion in software development at the moment. Maybe I should actually attend this talk at Skills Matter in London on 18 September. In The Brain of Gojko Adzic: Agile Acceptance Testing

Students Who Use ‘Clickers’ Score Better On Physics Tests

Back when I was teaching, we had several attempts to improve the learning and teaching experience using student handsets which communicate back to a central system. Within their limits, such trials were generally successful; enough that the college bought several sets. However, I always felt that the system was was woefully underused. Using such handsets …

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Multiple Returns from a Single Method

A discussion of the benefits and disadvantages of single vs multiple returns from a method cropped up today. Unfortunately we became distracted before getting to the meat of the opinions. To help stir up that discussion again, here’s a link to an article (and follow-up comments) from Mark Levison’s blog. Notes from a Tool User: …

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A cautionary tale about Java Generics

It should come as no surprise that you need to keep your wits about you when you write software. But the wise programmer should also be wary of blithely adopting any kind of “best practice” without considering the implications. Here’s a cautionary tale about a case where doing things as it appeared they “should” be …

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The Agile Coach Role

I’ve never worked on a team with an explicit Agile Coach – I know several people who have worked in that role, just never with me. With that in mind, this article is an interesting exploration of what the role of “agile coach” actually entails. » The Agile Coach Role

Erlang and Ruby Roundup: Vertebra, Scaling with Fuzed, Github

Whenever I bump into erlang (which seems to be becoming increasingly frequent) I seem to follow the same mental journey. First I look at the advantages, then admire the quality of the applications, then I get mired in trying to get my head around the syntax. Eventually I back off and decide to just run …

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Death of Hybrid Camry Chief Engineer is Ruled Overwork

This is interesting in so many ways. Not only that the Toyota system – long held up as a shining example of lean, sustainable working – can also burn people out, but also that the Japanese have a special word “karoshi” for death by over work. Learning and practising techniques to avoid this situation is …

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IDE’s and Dynamic Languages

I have been working with Python a fair amount recently, and really miss a lot of the tool features I use when working with Java. In particular, lacking the ability to automatically apply common refactorings and auto-complete obvious code really “cramps my style”. In most cases I have a pretty clear idea of what I …

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Mox, Google’s Mock Object Framework for Python

I had great hopes for this when I saw the title. I normally use TDD (Test Driven Development) exclusively, but have been finding it difficult to get into the rhythm of TDD when developing in Python for Google App Engine. I’m just not familiar enough with the Python unit-test ecosystem. So a general purpose Mock …

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