I help companies increase their software quality, lower technical debt and save money developing software

I write a newsletter about these topics every week-day. Below you'll find recent issues.

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Posts

  • Delete all your tests!

    Sorry for not writing yesterday. My schedule did not allow it. I refrained from posting anything since it wouldn’t have been of sufficient quality for you.

    On Monday I tried something new. I recorded the content of the newsletter as a video and posted it to YouTube and LinkedIn. While it didn’t exactly blow up, I am happy and excited about these changes. I want to try to stick with this. Today I switched things up. I first recorded the video, of which I’ve embedded a link to below, and then wrote the newsletter.

    https://youtu.be/7FRYUE_waWk

    The subject says it already: Delete all your tests!

  • Testing strategies - Test management

    You don’t need test management. You develop web applications. Your job is not rocket science. It’s demanding, and you are doing a fantastic part shipping features and making customers happy. Who needs test management to do that, right?

    Let’s try three different points of view on this:

    The software developer’s Pov

    You code and you write tests, even perhaps before writing application code? Different project managers come to you with their projects and ask you to be part of the team. You have a reputation with them that you are able to ship. You have your hands in several projects and can choose which ones you would like to work on. Your manager sets up an appointment for the yearly review. You want to ask for a raise. On what ground should you get your raise? Because other employees value you and your work? Because of your reputation?

  • Testing strategies - Back to start

    On Friday I gave you a very quick intro on how you could increase your test coverage and confidence for an application that has no tests. You can consider this the quick and dirty approach that works, when you have little time and just want to start somewhere.

    Perhaps you should start at an earlier point. A proper way to start the journey to testing software is the state the question

    Why do we test software?

  • Testing strategies

    In an earlier email I asked you on your opinions as to what you would like to read more about. A bit like a “chose-your-own-adventure” style newsletter. BTW: Did you see that show on Netflix, where you can decide how the story unfolds? This was excellent. Although the nerd in me sees many ways how it was confusing for the user and how it could have been even better. But for a TV show? Wow, I am excited that dared to do that!

    Anyway, the majority of the answers indicated that you would like to read something about testing strategies.

  • A story about a feature gone bad

    Chad clicked the button and created his pull request. He had worked on his feature really long — it must have been three weeks. Finally, it was time to integrate his changes into the master branch so they could go live with the new version of the app. This was the first huge feature that was his responsibility. His team lead, Janet, gave him the ticket for the task and he set out to write his code. “When it finally goes live,” he thought, “the churn of our users should drastically go down!”.

    Primarily he had found many places in the app, where users committed some actions. Up until now, these actions weren’t registered anywhere, so nothing and nobody tracked them. There was no record of what the user did or didn’t do inside the app. Marketing alerted management that too many users did not renew their accounts, or outright canceled. In turn, management asked the developers to do something about it. Together the team decided to record all user actions and put them into a log of all activities for this user. This way they could make calculations which users were not active in the app and reach out to them to prevent them from abandoning the application, or so they hoped. The development of the feature enabled Chad to take a thorough look at the whole application. After all, he had to integrate his code into all kinds of places. And so he did. Today he was finally ready to publish the code and begin the merging. To integrate it into the master branch so that it could get deployed, he had to create a pull request. “Since my code is well written and worked when I tested it, it shouldn’t take too long for this merge to complete.” was his conviction. He assigned the pull request to his team lead and another backend developer that he had talked to during lunch a few days earlier. Chad used the lunch to tell her about his progress on the feature, and she seemed interested. So another set of eyes shouldn’t hurt.

  • Only two rules

    There are only two hard rules when doing code review with your coworkers:

    1. Keep it professional. Don’t. Get. Personal.
    2. Don’t take it personal.

    Remember that you are talking about letters and symbols in files. Nothing more and nothing less.
    You are doing this to improve the results, the software.

    You are not your code!

  • Indentation as a Complexity Metric

    If you want to measure the complexity of your software, there is a lot of software, tools and software-as-a-service offerings available. These options can seem daunting and have a lot of onboarding time (the time it takes you to understand how to use them and get meaningful results).

    If none of these things work for you, don’t despair. There is a simple way to get a high-level view on the complexity of your software. And it’s language-agnostic. It doesn’t care whether you write CSS, Ruby, Java or something else.

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