Blog harvest, October II

harvest64A great way to stay up to date with current musings and hypes of our industry is to follow other people’s blogs. We do this regularly – everybody scans his RSS feeds and roams the internet. But to have a pool of shared knowledge, we pick our favorite recent blog articles and usually write an email titled “blog harvest” to the rest of the company.

Then, the idea came up to replace the internal email by a public blog post. So here it is, the first entry of a new category called “blog harvests”. You’ll read more harvests in the future. They will be categorized and tagged appropriate and have the harvest icon nearby.

Second Blog harvest for October 2009

There are four main blog entries I want to share:

  • 8 Signs your code sucks – Let’s assume we all read Martin Fowler’s classic “Refactoring” book, then these eight signs are a mere starter. But as the follow-up post indicates, it got quite a few people started and upset for the “comments are code smells” line. Well, we heartfully agree with the premise that comments are clutter and code should be the comment. /* TODO: Add a joke using comments here */
  • ORMs are a thing of the past – Another opinion that might get in the way of hibernate fanboys. We’ve had our share of hibernate “experiences”. It’s a useful tool if you know how to use it – and when not to. Replies followed instantly, here are two noteworthy ones by Scot Mcphee and by Jens Schauder.
  • The Case for Clojure – Clojure is functional programming on the Java VM (think LISP). Stay tuned for our own book review on this topic. You can argue that Clojure isn’t pure, though.
  • Bad Programmers Create Jobs – As is already is a controversy harvesting, lets add some more, written by Mohammad Azam. Side note: Half of our work was initially created by “bad” programmers, so I think Mohammad hit the nail on the head. And remember that you’ve produced legacy code today.

Then there is a bit of (future) knowledge you shouldn’t miss:

That’s it for now. My harvest format has changed for the blog, i’ll evolve it further in the next months, Thanks for your attention, stay tuned.

Follow-up to Schneide “Dev Brunch” October 2009

brunch64Last weekend, we held our October Dev Brunch in the rooms of our company. This posting is the follow-up, summarizing the topics and providing additional information.

The Dev Brunch

Let me start by introducing the concept of a “Dev Brunch” as we perform it. Once a month, we spend nearly half a day of the weekend by meeting and talking about topics related to software development. The meeting starts at perfect brunch time, everybody brings along some brunchable food and the party begins.

Everybody who attains the Dev Brunch has to prepare a topic to tell about. We set a limit of 15 minutes for the talk and unlimited time for questions and discussion. We elect a moderator, though, to bring us back on course when we disgress too much.

To prepare a topic isn’t hard work. No slides are required, no written handout or code examples. You just have to work up a topic to fit it into 15 minutes.

The October 2009 Dev Brunch

The topics of this session were:

  • Java’s upcoming Fork/Join framework – Java 5 brought the util.concurrent classes, Java 7 will bring the Fork/Join framework to further ease concurrency in Java.
  • The current status of JIT on mobile devices – the tagline was “why is my Android phone so slow?”. This talk even included slides!
  • Project estimation with planning poker – the talk gave away the secrets of planning poker and even more secrets of how to sell it to the management.
  • Pitfalls of unit testing Spring infected code – Developers often mix up the framework with its concepts. The example given was dependency injection (concept) vs. Spring (framework).
  • First impressions of Scala – Tales of a first contact with Scala from a Java developer.

Several talks included bonus material that will be provided in the comment section of this blog posting. Most material will be in german, as were the talks. But to ease our international readers: most links within the bonus material point to english articles.

Stage your own Dev Brunch

We cannot stress this enough – holding your own Dev Brunch isn’t complicated but very valuable. Just invite your mates and bring food. Once you started, you’ll attract other developers from your vicinity and get to know them in an informal manner.