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Liam McLennan hackingon.net April 2010 Entries
What makes a Software Craftsman?
At the end of my visit to 8th Light Justin Martin was kind enough to give me a ride to the train station; for my train back to O’Hare. Just before he left he asked me an interesting question which I then posted to twitter: Liam McLennan: . @JustinMartinM asked what I think is the most important attributes of craftsmen. I said, "desire to learn and humility". What's yours? 6:25 AM Apr 17th via TweetDeck several people replied with excellent contributions: Alex Hung: @liammclennan I think kaizen sums ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 27, 2010 1:11 AM

Executable Resumes
Over the past twelve months I have been thinking a lot about executable specifications. Long considered the holy grail of agile software development, executable specifications means expressing a program’s functionality in a way that is both readable by the customer and computer verifiable in an automatic, repeatable way. With the current generation of BDD and ATDD tools executable specifications seem finally within the reach of a significant percentage of the development community. Lately, and partly ......

Posted On Thursday, April 22, 2010 4:09 PM

Craftsmanship Tour: Day 3 & 4 8th Light
Thursday morning the Illinois public transport system came through for me again. I took the Metra train north from Union Station (which was seething with inbound commuters) to Prairie Crossing (Libertyville). At Prairie Crossing I met Paul and Justin from 8th Light and then Justin drove us to the office. The 8th Light office is in an small business park, in a semi-rural area, surrounded by ponds. Upstairs there are two spacious, open areas for developers. At one end of the floor is Doug Bradbury’s ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 21, 2010 5:14 PM

Craftsmanship Tour: Day 2 Obtiva
I like Chicago. It is a great city for travellers. From the moment I got off the plane at O’Hare everything was easy. I took the train to ‘the Loop’ and walked around the corner to my hotel, Hotel Blake on Dearborn St. Sadly, the elevated train lines in downtown Chicago remind me of ‘Shall We Dance’. Hotel Blake is excellent (except for the breakfast) and the concierge directed me to a pizza place called Lou Malnati's for Chicago style deep-dish pizza. Lou Malnati’s would be a great place to go with ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 20, 2010 7:55 PM

Craftsmanship Tour Day 1: Didit Long Island
On Monday I was at Didit for my first ever craftsmanship visit. Didit seem to occupy a good part of a non-descript building in Rockville Centre Long Island. Since I had arrived early from Seattle I had some time to kill, so I stopped at the Rockville Diner on the corner of N Park Ave and Sunrise Hwy. I thoroughly enjoyed the pancakes and the friendly service. After walking to the Didit office I met Rik Dryfoos, the Didit Engineering Manager who organised my visit, and got the introduction to Didit ......

Posted On Monday, April 19, 2010 3:31 PM

Seattle Code Camp 2010
Seattle Code Camp was a two-day intensive software development conference. Ostensibly a technology agnostic event the reality is that code camp continues to focus on Microsoft technologies. Notable exceptions were talks on Ruby and iPhone development. If you were not able to attend you can view all of the sessions online. Code Camp was a good opportunity to catch up with my friends from last weekend’s Alt.NET conference and also to participate in some great sessions ......

Posted On Monday, April 19, 2010 1:26 PM

New York Alt.NET Dinner
While I was in the New York area Stephen Bohlen graciously organised an Alt.NET dinner. I left Rockville Centre on the 17:15 train, thinking I had plenty of time to get to Toloache Mexican Bistro on W 50th St. However, when I changed at Penn Station I took the service downtown, instead of uptown. I corrected that mistake and made it to 51st St, but then ended up in completely the wrong place because I did not understand the street numbering system. For future reference I now have the following rules ......

Posted On Saturday, April 17, 2010 11:19 AM

Craftsmanship Tour Day 0: New York
Arriving at JFK, at dawn, is beautiful. From above 1,000ft I can see no crime, poverty or ugliness – just the dark orange sunrise-through-smog. The Atlantic appears calm, and I take that as a good sign. Today is the first day of my software craftsmanship tour. I will be visiting three of the shining lights of the software industry over five days, exchanging ideas and learning. Arriving on the red eye from Seattle I feel like hell. My lips, not used to the dry air, are cracked and bleeding. I get ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 13, 2010 10:22 AM

Why the R# Method Group Refactoring is Evil
The refactoring I’m talking about is recommended by resharper when it sees a lambda that consists entirely of a method call that is passed the object that is the parameter to the lambda. Here is an example: public class IWishIWasAScriptingLanguage { public void SoIWouldntNeedAllThisJunk() { (new List<int> {1, 2, 3, 4}).Select(n => IsEven(n)); } private bool IsEven(int number) { return number%2 == 0; } } When resharper gets to n => IsEven(n) it underlines the lambda with a green squiggly ......

Posted On Monday, April 12, 2010 10:28 AM

Still More Photos From Seattle Alt.NET 2010
Talking about GIT Closing circle ......

Posted On Monday, April 12, 2010 10:23 AM

More photos from Alt.NET Seattle 2010
View Full Album ......

Posted On Sunday, April 11, 2010 2:58 AM

BDD IS Different to TDD
One of this morning’s sessions at Alt.NET 2010 discussed BDD. Charlie Pool expressed the opinion, which I have heard many times, that BDD is just a description of TDD done properly. For me, the core principles of BDD are: expressing behaviour in terms that show the value to the system actors Expressing behaviours / scenarios in a format that clearly separates the context, the action and the observations. If we go back to Kent Beck’s TDD book neither of these elements are mentioned as being core to ......

Posted On Saturday, April 10, 2010 3:39 PM

Alt.net Seattle 2010 Photos
View Full Album ......

Posted On Saturday, April 10, 2010 12:42 PM

Getting Started With Sinatra
Sinatra is a Ruby DSL for building web applications. It is distinguished from its peers by its minimalism. Here is hello world in Sinatra: require 'rubygems' require 'sinatra' get '/hi' do "Hello World!" end A haml view is rendered by: def '/' haml :name_of_your_view end Haml is also new to me. It is a ruby-based view engine that uses significant white space to avoid having to close tags. A hello world web page in haml might look like: %html %head %title Hello World %body %div Hello World You see ......

Posted On Thursday, April 1, 2010 12:36 AM

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