April 8, 2009

...Learn TDD with Codemanship

SPA2009, SC2010, Carpool & General Nonsense

Just a quick post today with a few honourable mentions.

Firstly, SPA2009; with all sorts of stuff going on at the moment, I only managed to make it to one afternoon yesterday, which is a shame because it looked liked it was going swimmingly. SPA's a much more sophisticated affair than SC2009 was (though cheap and cheerful has its place, I should add), and hats off to the organisers for putting it all together. I'm due to be in town later this afternoon, so maybe I'll try and hook up with a few folk after the conference for a beer.

My own session at SPA was fun, but poorly attended, I'm afraid. I enjoyed it, anyway. And that's all that matters, I s'pose :-)

You can view a Flash demo of the practical elements of the session by clicking here. Alas, what you will have missed out on is the experienced insights of people like Alan Wills, Dave Cleal and Mark Dalgarno at the session itself. But I'm sure you'll get the jist of it.

On the subject of Flash demos, I just checked my stats on Libsyn and it looks like the TDD in C# demo has now been viewed 3,000 times. Which is nice. Remind me to do a Java version soon.

Finally, a quick mention about next year's Software Craftsmanship conference.

It's on.

In exactly what form remains to be seen, but I'm committed. And if I'm committed, that means it's happening. Even if it's happening in my flat. I can't tell you too much at this early stage, because there are lots of decisions that need to made, alliances that need to be brokered and sexual favours that need to be administered to make a conference possible. What I can tell you is this:

1. I'm banning talks, presentations or any other kind of session that doesn't involve real live coding. The feedback has been very clear about this; the best bit was getting a bunch of smart, talented and skilled developers around some code and talking turkey with real, concrete examples. I was impressed by how powerful that simple act can be when I used to take teams into a room with a laptop and a projector for a week or two and we'd take turns at the keyboard implementing solutions to real requirements. It's a great way to bring everybody to the same page quickly and with a lot less blah blah blah. And I feel very strongly now that this is the way forward for SC2010 and hopefully beyond. Let the code do the talking!

2. We're going to sort out network access, source control and other technical stuff this time around, so hopefully the first twenty minutes of your session won't be taken up with folk handing memory sticks around. We'll also keep copies of all the code that gets created, which will be donated to medical science for their secret occult experiments. Or something like that.

And while we're on the subject of software craftsmanship, in answer to one Tweeter's question - no, not everybody who promotes craftsmanship necessarily thinks they're a "master craftsman". Far from it, in fact. Don't be bullied by this sort of anti-craftsmanship rhetoric. If you go out there and push the craftsmanship message, you are doing a good thing. It doesn't make you arrogant or elitist. It does mean that you care, and that you at least aspire to high standards. Any negativity or animosity some people might voice about this nascent movement, I suspect, says more about the naysayers than it does about the size of your ego.

My ego, of course, is massive and I do - as the same Tweeter kindly pointed out in a private message to me - have a very high opinion of myself. And why not? I still hold the self-endowed title of "World's Greatest Software Developer" and nobody has challenged me for it yet. I am also a brilliant rock guitar player, Kung Fu fighter and I'm fantastic in bed. But that has nothing to do with my support of software craftsmanship. I'm just a big-headed gobshite who just happens to care about software development. I'm perfectly comfortable with that. Hey, it works for me :-)

Anyhoo, I'm off to watch this week's Carpool (highly recommended, by the way) before I launch into some actual work. Toodle-pip!

Posted 9 years, 2 months ago on April 8, 2009