Articles

Sign reading "Duh!" When the Code Is Too Obvious to Check

How many times does something seem too obvious to check? Most of the time this normal human response is a handy shortcut. Your brain tries to save you time—but you can’t always trust it. If your code malfunctions, each of those "too obvious to check" thoughts will bias your thinking about what caused the malfunction. We have to commit up front, before our thinking crystalizes, that the code will have to prove to us that it is correct.

Steve Poling's picture Steve Poling
Car steering wheel photo by Nicolai Berntsen A Case for Test-First Development

You may feel you don't have time to write unit tests, but you really don't have time not to. Steve Poling makes the case that writing tests first not only will yield better code, but will help you get that code working right sooner. Here's how using a test-first approach changes your thinking about coding, lets you see mistakes immediately, and helps you create more testable code.

Steve Poling's picture Steve Poling
Question mark cursor Critical Questions to Ask When Choosing a Third-Party API

This article exposes the risks and hidden costs involved in the seemingly innocent decision of which third-party APIs to use to gather and report data, offload critical functionality, and save implementation time. It addresses some typical reasons the decision-making process over third-party use is overlooked, as well as how to make good choices confidently and consistently.

Paul Bruce's picture Paul Bruce
Thinking Critically about Software Development BSC West 2015 Keynote: Better Thinking for Better Software: Thinking Critically about Software Development

Software developer Laurent Bossavit delivered the second keynote presentation, about why we need to think more critically about software development. He began his presentation by saying his intention was to make you question what you know—or what you think you know.

Beth Romanik's picture Beth Romanik

Better Software Magazine Articles

Do You Really Want to Be a Manager Do You Really Want to Be a Manager?

The majority of managers are promoted due to their software development expertise. But becoming a successful manager requires a drastic change of focus. There is a set of expectations to consider before making that leap to the “dark side.”

Ron Lichty's picture Ron Lichty MW Mantle
Playing Games to Improve Software

You may not have heard about gamification, but instructional designers are now using game principles to help with retention of learned material in many forms of training. Ross Smith and Rajini Padmanaban believe that developers' UX and app design can benefit from gamification.

Ross Smith's picture Ross Smith Rajini Padmanaban
When Software Smells Bad

Most software needs to be "maintainable" and have high "internal quality." But what does that mean in practical terms? Code smells form a vocabulary for discussing code quality and how well suited code might be to change. The smells also provide good indications as to what to refactor and how.

Leveraging A Learning Culture

Mistakes happen. It's how you respond to them that matters. Teams might react to a bug with panic and blame, leading to a quickly hacked fix and possibly more issues. Taking time to investigate and learn leverages problems into process and practice improvement and a higher quality product.

Lisa Crispin's picture Lisa Crispin

Interviews

Melissa Benua discusses continuous integration Employ Continuous Integration Processes to Make Your Code Work: An Interview with Melissa Benua
Video

In this interview, Melissa Benua, senior backend engineer for PlayFab, explains the new way of life that continuous integration brings. She imparts practical advice for creating builds and running automation on the fly without spending hundreds of hours or thousands of dollars.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
Mobile software developer Josh Michaels Mobile Development and Aggressive Testing: An Interview with Josh Michaels
Video

Josh Michaels is an independent software developer who makes apps for the iPad, iPhone, and Mac under the company name Jetson Creative. In this interview, Josh discusses mobile development, testing aggressively, and keeping users happy. 

Jonathan Vanian's picture Jonathan Vanian
Software testing consultant Matthew Heusser The Relationship between Testers and Programmers: An Interview with Matthew Heusser

StickyMinds technical editor Matthew Heusser is a consulting software tester and software process naturalist. In this interview, Matthew shares his thoughts on tester and programmer relationships, the impact of Acceptance Test Driven Development, and benefits of "lean coffee" gatherings.

Noel Wurst's picture Noel Wurst
Enhancing Mobile Data Security: An Interview with Erik Costlow

In this interview, Erik Costlow reveals some of the ways that today's hackers are using mobile apps to steal information not just from business, but also directly from mobile device users themselves. Erik also shares with us how device security should never be taken for granted by developers.

Noel Wurst's picture Noel Wurst

Conference Presentations

Agile DevOps West Mobbing, Pairing, Soloing, and Pipe Fires: A Personal History of Collaboration
Slideshow

Pair programming: the practice you love to hate! Twenty years after being introduced as part of Extreme Programming, the collaborative practice is still a thing. And if you thought pairing was nuts, now there's mobbing, where the entire team works together on one thing at a time. Yet we often hear teams say, "We go faster because we are mobbing." In this anecdote-heavy session, you'll hear Jeff Langr's history of working through various models for collaboration (or not) across the past several decades, including solo programming, pairing, and mobbing. He'll show you his office blueprints to help put you in his shoes and understand what contributed to the ups and downs of each model. You'll learn tips for success, pitfalls to watch out for, and Jeff's take on why mobbing or pairing might help us go faster. Come with a willingness to lose your preconceptions.

Jeff Langr
Agile DevOps East A Personal History of Collaboration: Soloing, Pairing, Mobbing, Cube Farms, and Pipe Fires
Slideshow

Pair programming is the practice you love to hate! It's been nearly twenty years since Extreme Programming promoted pair programming as a collaborative practice, and it's still here. And if you thought that was bad, now there's mobbing, where the entire team works together on one thing at a time. Does that seem nuts? Yet we often hear teams say, "We go faster because we are mobbing." In this anecdote-heavy session, you'll hear Jeff Langr's history of working through various models for collaboration (or not) across the past several decades, including pairing, solo programming, and mobbing. He'll show you his office blueprints to help put you in his shoes and understand what made for the ups and downs of each model. You'll learn tips for success with each model, pitfalls to watch out for, and Jeff's take on why mobbing or pairing might help us go faster.

Jeff Langr
STARCANADA Mobbing for Test Design: Connecting with Your Colleagues’ Test Ideas
Slideshow

Do you have trouble generating test case ideas? Are there seemingly obvious bugs getting through your test plan? Are you considering revamping your current test analysis and design? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this session is for you. You may have heard of mob...

Jeff MacBane
Mobile Dev Test Threads, Queues, and More: Async Programming in iOS
Slideshow

To keep your iOS app running butter-smooth at 60 frames per second, Apple recommends doing as many tasks as possible asynchronously or “off the main thread.” Joe Keeley introduces you to some basic concepts of asynchronous programming in iOS. He discusses what threads and queues are, how...

Joe Keeley

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