There’s a joke that if you ask a developer to code a program to process widgets, they’d rather build a domain specific language and tool stack first to make life easier for when they might one day build the software that does the actual work.
A lot of development effort is under way to build a true Kotlin ecosystem, but I don’t think it’s all good news. Read more in my latest post for NLKUG.
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.
Continue reading “Coding like Gaston Lagaffe”
Kotlin has given us some really killer features. Some are obviously useful (null safety), while others come with a warning, like operator overloading and extension functions. One such ‘handle-with-care’ features is the language support for delegation. It’s easy to grasp, quick to apply and the manual literally takes half a page. Continue reading “Elegant delegates in Kotlin”
In my previous post I explained how software anti-patterns are symptoms of bad habits that can be endemic to entire teams. Today I want to talk about what is perhaps the most infamous of all: the Golden Hammer. Actually, it’s a collection of hammers that makes up the toolbox from hell.
The Golden Hammer anti-pattern is a result of narrow focus, which in itself is an admirable and even necessary character trait for many pursuits: there’s a lot to admire in people who become experts in their chosen specialised field. It takes dedication and stamina. Science wouldn’t have made it to its present state without it. However, what makes a hammer golden is having experience and affinity with a technique (framework, language) that in itself has a limited range of applications but that you misapply through overuse. Continue reading “Anti-patterns part 2: Coding is the biggest Golden Hammer of all”
There are plenty of learning resources on software best practices. Sprinkled in between all the well-intended advice are warnings about common pitfalls. We could do with a lot more of these warnings and think about why we keep doing the same things wrong. What makes anti-patterns so irresistible? Continue reading “When anti-patterns become a pattern”