Modern Unit Testing came out of Test Driven Development (TDD). The first Unit Test Tooling was designed for Smalltalk; jUnit and nUnit were strange, free plugins that were (shudder) open source. The people in the Alt.Net community found the Microsoft tool stack actively resisted TDD, continuous integration, and other technical improvements the XP and Agile Communities were making to the way software was delivered.
In technology terms, that was ancient history. Let’s talk about now.
Today, when I work with a company, they have likely heard of TDD.
They just don’t use it.
Here are a few patterns I’ve seen.
It was a long commute today and a long drive back, which meant I caught the majority of former FBI Director James Comey’s Testimony before the Senate and an hour of analysis.
About halfway through the analysis I realized that I had heard this story before. In fact it mirrored my own experience.
James Comey, former director of the FBI, had been through a political experience very much like my own … and one you might have been through, or might have to go through some day, as well. Continued »
I have been doing contract work in technology for the past three years or so. I have always had the goal of doing independent work as far back as I can remember, but wanted everything to be just right to start. It was bits and pieces of work at first — an article here, some crowd source work there. Over time it was harder and harder to balance having a day job and freelance work. I ended up leaving the day job (as you already know) and doing this full time.
There seems to be a lot of mythology surrounding contractors and contract work, so I thought I’d share a little of my experience around some key points.
And I felt a bit better. Because if Neil Armstrong felt like an impostor, maybe everyone did. Maybe there weren’t any grown-ups, only people who had worked hard and also got lucky and were slightly out of their depth, all of us doing the best job we could, which is all we can really hope for.
And, of course, there are experts stating out loud at conferences that they have no idea what they are doing, and encouraging everyone else to stand up and agree.
Here’s the part where I get in a lot of trouble.
You see, when I hear those appeals, I remain seated. I have the audacity to believe that I actually know what I’m doing.
I know. I must be some sort of narcissist, right?
Working from anywhere that isn’t an office, or remote work, has been a popular topic lately. IBM recently decided to end its remote work program. More than 2,600 people will have a choice between relocating to a city with an IBM office, or finding work elsewhere. IBM is citing effectiveness and efficiency as the reason for this decision.
I have been working remotely for pretty close to half of my professional life. I was at home from 2011 to 2013 and then again starting in 2015. I have worked with teams that are all remote, and with teams where some people are in the office and some do their own thing. Here are a few opinions I have developed over that time.
Asking for a raise sucks.
My pattern is usually to spend a few days or weeks brooding over what I’m making. One day after getting psyched up, I finally ask. The answer usually relates back to having to check the budget to see where things are, or a reference to a hiring and compensation freeze, or the always comforting “I’ll get back with you”.
Asking for money is a game of strategy and power. I have a two part strategy for asking for raises.
Today’s programmers jump from tech stack to tech stack, learning Ember-React-Angular today and a CSS Compiler Compiler tomorrow.
No really, that’s a thing.
What’s a technical person to do to stay active and marketable in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond? Continued »
I was talking with some people in a Skype thread about a conference pitch. The theme of the pitch was acceptance testing driven development (ATDD), and one of the points mentioned as a take away was having a better understanding of ‘shift-left’. Shift Left is the idea that testers should develop a skill set that allows them to get involved in testing much earlier in the development cycle, and also that companies should create a culture where that is possible.
One person in the thread had a gut reaction and claimed that they hated the term shift-left. They dismissed is as nothing more than a buzzword people use to get talks.
I think buzzwords are meaningful, let me tell you why.
We picked up the latest generation of the Amazon Fire Stick about a month ago. We had been using the previous generation and were happy with it. My mother in law wanted to be able to watch PBS shows while babysitting my son, but her Samsung smart TV doesn’t have any PBS apps available. We installed the first gen Amazon Fire Stick over there to solve the PBS problem, and ordered the latest version for our house.
We have been using the new Amazon Fire Stick for a month now and have some initial impressions
I was talking with a friend last week about some shakeups at the company he is working for. This is a fairly well established company in Nashville, but they aren’t profitable yet and are in the process of taking another round of funding. This friend is seeing some instability in the company and is thinking about moving on to something else.
I’ve been through three or four of these funding rounds now while working at startups and have noticed some patterns. Maybe my experience will help you decide if you want to stick around, or move on.