Archives / 2012 / September
  • Webs of Trust versus Certifications

    In the software development industry, as in many others, it’s important or at least helpful to be able to identify individuals and companies who are competent at their craft.  Finding those who are excellent is nice, too, but honestly I’m amazed at how many “professionals” out there don’t even measure up to the much lower bar of merely competent (to be fair, I find this to be true of accountants, lawyers, and general contractors as well, so it’s certainly not limited to our profession).  So, how does one go about evaluating the competence of another individual or company in a given field (e.g. software development)? Certifications For quite some time, certifications have been … more

  • Unboxing and First Impressions of New Intel Ultrabook

    I recently received a preview-hardware next generation Ivy Bridge Ultrabook from Intel, optimized for and pre-installed with Windows 8.  I suspect we’ll be seeing these available in stores and via online outlets soon.  I’m a fan of the Ultrabook brand and concept – thin, sleek, and light, with powerful hardware capable of running developer tools.  I’ve already happily switched away from much heavier and thicker laptops, so getting an early view of what’s coming next for this form factor is definitely exciting for me.  Before I get started, let me make two things clear.  First, this is a pre-production device, which has known problems and is designed to help get … more

  • Growing Object-Oriented Software Guided By Tests Book Review

    I finished this book a while back and just haven’t had a chance to write about it until now.    Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests is a bit of a mouthful of a title, but it does describe the subject matter of the book pretty well.  I noted a few points of interest as I read the book, as I tend to do, that I’d like to share here along with my overall thoughts. I’ve read quite a few books on unit testing and writing quality software, so many of the concepts here were not necessarily new to me.  However, I do find that it’s valuable to see such topics presented from a variety of viewpoints, and since I also present and teach these subjects, I’m always … more

  • A Gentle Introduction to StructureMap

    I found myself explaining inversion of control containers and their benefits to someone today, and so I created a very simple console application that makes use of StructureMap (my favorite such container).  You can view the whole file in this Gist.  Here I’ll just briefly explain what’s going on. The main benefit of a tool like StructureMap is to decouple your classes from their collaborators.  Rather than classes knowing exactly which implementations they’re working with, they publish their needs for collaborators in their constructors, providing explicit dependencies (see my other posts on dependencies).  The IoC container then is used to provide these classes with the … more