Archives / 2012 / January
  • Reviewing Scrumban the Book

    I’ve been reading a bunch of kanban and lean books recently as I work on my Pluralsight course on Introducing Kanban.  The most recent one I’ve finished is Scrumban, Essays on Kanban Systems for Lean Software Development, by Corey Ladas (I’m doing the reviews in LIFO order).  I made a bunch of notes while reading this book, and it has a great deal of useful information.  I read David Anderson’s Kanban book first, followed by Benson and Barry’s Personal Kanban.  I think reading Scrumban last was definitely the right choice, though if I were recommending these books today I would most likely suggest someone start with Personal Kanban, as it’s the lightest weight of the … more

  • Updating Blog to Orchard and Switching Domains

    So, yesterday I posted a review of the new Asus Ultrabook and, as has become rather predictable lately, the virtual web server hosting my Graffiti-powered blog started having 100% CPU for quite a while after the post went live.  Now, I don’t get *that* much traffic, but apparently something with my configuration of Graffiti, the server, and the traffic that I do get is enough for it to bring that server to its knees.  And Graffiti, great though it was years ago, just had to go. I opted to go with Orchard for several reasons.  I’d been on the fence between Orchard and WordPress, but after using WordPress for some other one-off projects over the last 18 months, I’ve grown … more

  • Asus Zen Ultrabook First Impressions

    Last week a received a new Asus UX31E Zenbook Ultrabook laptop computer, which I’ve been putting through the paces.  I’d like to write up my thoughts on the unboxing and my initial impression of the machine, and I’ll write more in a few weeks once I’ve had some more time to use it.  Overall, I really like it so far.  It’s thin, light, shiny, and feels solidly put together.  It’s also extremely fast to start up and has a very reasonable active use battery life and a better sleep/standby battery life than any laptop I’ve ever owned. Unboxing I got my Asus Zenbook Ultrabook on Amazon, so of course it came in an Amazon box.  Inside the Amazon box was the Asus box: … more

  • Run Your Unit Tests in Parallel to Maximize Performance

    If you’re at all serious about testing, at some point you’re going to have a rather large suite of tests that need to run, and you’ll find that your builds are taking longer than you would like because of how long the tests run.  For example, consider this suite of 24 tests, each one of which looks like this one: If you run 24 of these, it’s going to take about 24 seconds, by default: Now of course it’s important to keep your unit tests and integration tests separate and to know which is which, but even once you’ve done that, anything you can do to speed up your test execution times is going to be a big help to your productivity.  Slow builds due to slow tests kill … more

  • Unit Test or Integration Test and Why You Should Care

    There remains a fair bit of confusion about what constitutes which kind of test.  Many developers are fairly new to testing, and tend to call any tests of their code “unit tests” even when they’re dealing with something substantially larger than a unit.  The tools don’t really help much here, since the various test runner frameworks all call themselves unit test frameworks, and the various test runners themselves almost universally refer to the tests they run as “unit tests” whether they are or not.  For instance, Visual Studio 2010 starts every new Test Project with a class called UnitTest1 and lets you add a new Unit Test, but nowhere does it mention Integration Tests, … more

  • CodeMash 2012 Sessions

    Last week I presented two half-day workshops at CodeMash’s PreCompiler on Wednesday (with Brendan Enrick), and a session on ASP.NET MVC 4 on Thursday.  CodeMash 2012 was an amazing conference and I’d like to personally thank the organizers as well as the attendees of my own events for making it such a great event.  I’ll post a separate write-up with my experiences shortly – for now I just need to get my slides and demos posted for folks who want them. Beginning Software Craftsmanship The morning PreCompiler was on Beginning Software Craftsmanship, and included some presentations on software craftsmanship, deliberate practice, testing, and pairing.  We had about 25 people in … more