thoughts about software and sensible security.

Categorymethodology

ATDD testing: All Tests Drive Development

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I have always been a fan of testing and blogged about it in the past. Software testing is a complex discipline. Most developers admit it’s important, but I think we are often mistaken about the true purpose of testing. It already starts with the word ‘test’, which has a wider range of meanings in software than the dictionary definition [to] take measures to check the quality, performance, or reliability of (something), especially before putting it into widespread use or practice. What is this something? The software of course! Ah, so we apply the test to something that’s already there. We test to check the work we have done. That not quite TDD. (more…)

Taking stock of 18 years in IT. What does it take to make great software?

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This year my IT career is coming of age. In the year 2000, when URLs were still awkwardly pronounced double-you-double-you-double-you-dot, I quit an uneventful tech support job in Edinburgh to code in Perl and DHTML, cursing the incompatibilities between IE and Netscape. But I never regretted the career change. Eighteen years have passed and I’m happier and fitter then I was at age thirty, believe it or not. I thought it would be a fun experiment to rank all major projects and companies I worked with over the years in terms of overall satisfaction (without too much regard to pay or perks). You can make such a list intuitively, but I wanted to formulate the criteria which in my experience make a software project enjoyable and then give marks for each. (more…)

Coding like Gaston Lagaffe

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My favourite comic hero is Gaston Lagaffe by André Franquin. The series ran from 1957 till the early eighties and has been re-issued to the present day.

At the fictional offices of the Dupuis publishing house Gaston’s job was responsible to sort the incoming mail, but instead he wreaked havoc with his irresponsible fascination for the applied sciences. Everything Gaston touched resulted in a hefty bill from the real professionals and often a quick trip to the emergency room for him and his colleagues. Gaston was impulsive, reckless, without care or a shred of actual know-how, and occasionally brilliant. Granted, he was also an animal lover and never meant any harm. He was drawn most to mechanics and electronics, but also concocted a soap that ate through six floors like the blood of the Alien.
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Kotlin’s invoke: it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, but isn’t a duck

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SUMMARY: Kotlin has given us a fresh perspective on some very ingrained OO-habits, particularly the pervasive use of nouns for objects that have only one public method.

Speaking like a native

Pronouncing a foreign language so convincingly that you can pass for a native speaker is one of the hardest tricks to pull off. While it comes natural to young children it is something that very few adults ever master. That is because our ears have become attuned to the speech habits of our native language and we interpret every foreign language according to these patterns. (more…)

Acting the part

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It’s not a open to debate that English is the lingua franca of programming and that it’s good practice to use English in your code. It’s equally true that a sizeable majority of developers are non-native speakers of English, many of whom work on products intended for an exclusively local domain. By this I mean software that is used within a single country, like bespoke software for the Dutch tax office. Since English is not an official language in our country, are we allowed to use these Dutch domain concepts in our code or should we translate them? (more…)

thoughts about software and sensible security.

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