Red Squirrel Reflections
Dave Hoover explores the psychology of software development

Dave Hoover
dave.hoover@gmail.com

Categories
All [Atom]
Craftsmanship [Atom]
Dynamic [Atom]
Intersection [Atom]
Learning [Atom]
Links [Atom]
Polyglot [Atom]
Projects [Atom]
XP [Atom]
Old Blog

Obtivian Blogs

Andy Maleh
Colin Harris
Fred Polgardy
Jim Breen
Kevin Taylor
Todd Webb
Turner King
Tyler Jennings

Archives

March 2009 (1)
January 2009 (1)
December 2008 (1)
October 2008 (3)
September 2008 (1)
June 2008 (4)
April 2008 (3)
March 2008 (1)
February 2008 (1)
August 2007 (1)
July 2007 (1)
June 2007 (1)
May 2007 (4)
April 2007 (3)
March 2007 (5)
February 2007 (6)
January 2007 (6)
December 2006 (10)
November 2006 (5)
October 2006 (8)
September 2006 (8)
August 2006 (5)
July 2006 (12)
June 2006 (7)
May 2006 (5)
April 2006 (5)
March 2006 (4)
February 2006 (2)
January 2006 (5)
December 2005 (5)
November 2005 (3)
October 2005 (3)
September 2005 (6)
August 2005 (4)
July 2005 (7)
June 2005 (14)
May 2005 (6)
April 2005 (8)
March 2005 (9)
February 2005 (11)
January 2005 (16)
Old Archives

 

Sun, 25 Jun 2006

RailsConf: Acceptance Testing

Well, my talk is over and whoa, am I sleep-deprived! Why do I procrastinate like that? Well, mostly because I hate public speaking and I nearly always find ways of putting off preparing for stuff that I hate to do. The upside of my procrastination was that I had the flexibility to incorporate last-minute stuff into my talk. Which meant I got to demonstrate FireWatir on the Mac, along with plain old Watir on Windows via Parallels, and most importantly, Alex Chaffee was able to give a 15 minute experience report on his company's use of Selenium RC on Rails, which in a lot of ways stole the show. The audience I spoke to was very responsive and clearly wants to see progress in the acceptance testing space. I believe that with the rise of Ajax, browser-based-testing is an area that is ripe for a lot of movement in the next few years.

It was an awesome, humbling experience to be a part of the stellar community of people that RailsConf drew together. Before I left early to get to my daughter's softball game, I got to hang with Obie and Aslak a bit, and listen to Gareth and Martin make some of the strangest sounds I've ever heard as they watched their football team beat Ecuador.

[/dynamic] permanent link

RailsConf: Homesteading

All of the RailsConf keynotes were in the evening, which meant I missed most of them due to obligations on the homefront. It hurt to not be able to listen to Paul Graham, someone who continualy inspires me with his work. Thankfully, I did get to listen to Nathaniel Talbott talk about Homesteading, an excellent metaphor for the entrepreneurial programmer (which at this conference is a bit redundant). And I loved Nathaniel's use of scripture to supplement his talk.

[/dynamic] permanent link

Fri, 23 Jun 2006

RailsConf: Herds of Macs

I've never seen so many Macs in one place. I'm sitting in Mike's Captistrano talk and here's the table behind me (one of these kids is doing his own thing).

[/dynamic] permanent link

RailsConf Guidebook

I spent the day in Rails Nirvana ... which strangely enough is right near O'Hare ... and has really bad wireless access. But nonetheless, it was awesome. The Guidebook was just what I needed. The begining was ultra-basic Ruby ... but since Obtiva will soon be offering Rails on TDD training and coaching, it was an excellent opportunity to watch the leading Rails instructors in action to see how they introduced people to Ruby (so I could learn how to teach these ideas). And then it got good ... metaprogramming. I had poked around a bit in the guts of ActiveRecord and played with some DSLs, but it wasn't until I listened to Dave's walkthrough of metaprogramming that I could say I really grok'd the stuff. And wow, I'm a different programmer tonight than I was this morning.

The afternoon was spent on Rails. Lots of review, but again, I was looking at it from a trainer's perspective, stealing ideas from Mike and Dave. And I also picked up some new stuff that I hadn't looked into yet: I especially liked Named Routes because they are a more elegant solution than they way I had solved link_to duplication with helpers.

My talk will be on Sunday morning, hopefully a few people will be awake enough to stop by to get a few tips on acceptance testing Rails+Ajax apps.

[/dynamic] permanent link

Thu, 15 Jun 2006

My Canvas/Ajax articles in Russian

It appears that my articles on Canvas and Ajax (originals here and here) have been translated into Russian: the Supertrain article and the Interactive Canvas on IE article. Although they probably don't have permission from O'Reilly to reprint them, it's an exciting moment to realize someone else has taken the time to make my work available to a new population.

[/projects] permanent link

Sun, 11 Jun 2006

About Ruby

Tim Kuntz is one of my teammates at my current client. He also just started as the first Ruby guide for About.com. (Coincidentally, About.com was my first venture into technology: I was the Teen Advice guide in 1999. I'm using the term "technology" loosely. I learned HTML, which for a child and family therapist feels like putting a man on the moon.) Anyway, Tim is focusing on helping Ruby newbies get up to speed, so if you're interested in Ruby but haven't taken the plunge yet, have a look at Tim's articles (rss).

[/links] permanent link

Thu, 01 Jun 2006

"The Simplest Thing" and the Change Event Horizon

Dan shared an important experience from Expo-C in which he debated Haskell creator Erik Meijer on the XP philosophy of Doing the Simplest Thing That Could Possibly Work. To me, the best part about Dan's story is the realization that our experiences as programmers (and as humans) so powerfully shape the way we approach our work. This explains why a language designer and a custom software consulant would have conflicting software design approaches, and yet both are "correct" in a specific context. We must be attentive our context, particularly when we change working environments. The programmer who thoughtlessly applies a single approach in every context is headed for trouble. Thoughtful programmers consider variables such as the Change Event Horizon when applying the rules they have developed previously:
"So now we had a working definition of 'too simple'. It can be defined as any decision that doesn't consider the scale of the change event horizon. As an agile developer, one of my objectives is to create as small a change event horizon as I can, through the medium of continuous integration, automated testing and regular user feedback."

[/links] permanent link


powered by blosxom