Object Oriented Programming in a Nutshell

Next year I’ll likely be teaching Essential Test-Driven Development to a team that includes about 50% COBOL programmers. I told the client I’d look for a good object-oriented (OO) primer for those developers to read in advance. As you can imagine, it’s tough to “unit-test” software that doesn’t have clear “unit” boundaries. COBOL relies on

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Sharpen Your Knives

You’ve heard the old adage about the lumberjack who—in order to cut a tree in an hour—will take 45 minutes to sharpen the saw? This old analogy really needs updating: Not many of us are all that familiar with the logging industry.

I like to instead use the metaphor of the chef who sharpens her

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Good Design, part IV: The Role of Tests

We’ve seen how refactoring becomes the primary design activity on an Agile team. Diligent, confident refactoring is possible to the degree that the code is tested through an automated test suite. If the tests don’t cover a portion of the code, a defect may be introduced when that code is altered. If the tests are

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Good Design, Part III: Refactoring

Remember this?

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Good Design, Part II: Code Smells

Last month we talked about good software design and introduced the notion of code smells. Code smells are names given to those instinctual thoughts you have whenever you look at a chunk of less-than-elegant code. Some are subtle, and some really stink.

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Good Design

I’ve learned not to assume a team has experienced a variety of software design skills. Some are writing elegant functional-paradigm code in archaic, challenging languages. Others are writing strongly-coupled, heavily-commented, and procedural static methods in Java or C#.

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How TDD is More Than Simply Unit Testing

I was recently asked about the difference between unit-testing and Test-Driven Development (TDD). Specifically, why—if the end results are the same—would I recommend TDD over writing unit tests after coding?

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Frequently Asked Questions about Agile Technical Skills

What are the Agile Engineering Skills, Scrum Developer Practices, or Software Craftsmanship practices?

These are three (of many) common names for a set of practices assembled in the mid-1990s to support and improve Agile

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