Delegating Little Things

I realized today as I was clicking through Dell configurations on workstation class machines with dual or quad core Xeons that I really needed to get my head out of the sand and delegate this. I’m not the world’s expert on all aspects of computer hardware other than I usually have a pretty good clue around Apple hardware, but that’s more of a techno-lust thing.

So after mulling it over I delegated it to one of my developers who can run with it, do a better job, and get it done faster.

Silicon Valley Ruby Conference 2007

I’ve been looking for a nearby Ruby or Rails conference to attend for the last six months or so, and I finally spotted one this evening on Josh Susser’s blog. Turns out SD Forum is going to be running a weekend Ruby conference April 21st and 22nd. The details are still not all there including the all important cost one, but I’m reserving a spot on my calendar.

Head First Java 2nd Edition TDD

One of our senior developers is putting together a class mostly based on Head First Java, 2nd Edition. The class will reinforce the basic language concepts for several of our developers who feel they still don’t quite get the point of inheritance or how an inner class works.

The developer explained that he was writing all the example code with JUnit and that Head First Java 2nd Edition has test classes and even mentions a process to follow of:

  • Prep for coding.
  • Test
  • Code

For some reason though they don’t follow through and just show you JUnit and instead end up writing main method test classes. Still it’s by far the best Java beginner book, I just wish they went ahead and introduced people to JUnit.

Monday Morning Team Meetings Suck

Monday morning team meetings at 9:00am suck even more. Fortunately after ten weeks of 9am team meetings I’m moving my team meetings back to Tuesday at 10am.

For would be managers who are thinking about running team meetings on a Monday, my advice would be–don’t. A few reasons:

  • Most people don’t show up to work Monday morning bright eyed and bushy tailed. They will typically tune out much of what you’re saying.
  • I have to rush to prepare the agenda unless I was clever enough to put it together on Friday.
  • I haven’t had my weekly staff meeting with my boss so most corporate stuff will be at least a few days old.

My experience over the ten weeks was average attendance was maybe 75% instead of closer to 90%. Often this was because 9am is when about half of my staff typically shows up since they are dropping off kids at school and such. I got very few questions and people looked happy when the 30 minute meeting finished early. I often felt ill prepared because I had to rush my prep for the meeting. It just takes a little while to ease into the work week for most humans.

Now that our 10 week security training is over I’m looking forward to a nice Tuesday staff meeting.


Dan Bunea recently posted on doing TDD with a web application. Since I’m currently cobbling together a similar TDD JSF example to use for a seminar in my organization I found Dan’s approach enlightening.

Dan begins at the completely at the front end writing a Selenium test against the initial page of an application where you add a user. He then builds the ASP pages in this case since it’s a .NET example and goes on to dig through the controller and business layers testing all the way to the database. He goes ahead and writes an integration test that tests the database during this process.

The integration test isn’t pure TDD, but I’ve taken the same approach in regards to my example so far instantiating an in-memory database with HSQLDB because I don’t really feel the need to rely on mocks to test my service and DAO objects.

I also differ in that I started at the controller and worked my way back, only developing the UI as a last step. My favorite approach is to try and ignore the GUI when doing development until the last step, though many people find that starting with the visual GUI layer is an easier starting point.

All in all a fairly good example of how you might approach TDD on a webapp.