Monday, July 19, 2010

Know Your Enemies Before They Kill You!

From darekb
You know what, this is a political world. So, enemies will seemingly look like your friends until the moment when.. well, its time for the kill! My dear readers, its time to know the enemies!

I have met with a few enemies off late. I will go one by one here.

If you are a software developer like me, you will often see this enemy, camouflaged variables, methods, classes and namespaces. For example, I have recently seen a Stack camouflaged as Visitor! I really mean this. I found a class called Visitor, so I was expecting a Visitor Design Pattern implementation or something similar, but what I got was a Stack under the hood with two methods Push and Pop! This enemies are very bad for your health, as they will keep you guessing all the time... you never know what they do from looking at their names!

Another enemy you will often see are the very skinny ones, to skinny to have any meat in them. I met some enemies like this as well. What happens when you do over engineering with interface explosion and a lot of one method classes? Is it really that difficult? Is it really a class? Is it really a package? I don't think so! You can spoil a piece of code by introducing a class/package for a single method. This enemy often surfaces because of the fact that, the design pattern book only shows classes with one/two key methods in them... which is of course not intended. But this is life... you gotta balance between class explosion and God classes... really, or this enemy will kill you someday.

I have just touched two common enemies... but there is another enemy we all are aware of, CMD+c (OS X) or Ctrl + C (Win). Its such a pain to copy a code fragment and use it in a different class... this is exactly the form of reuse that kills everything. Make sure you don't let this germ to grow, or it will outgrow you and leave you crying.

Have you reviewed your code by someone else today? If yes, keep up the good work. If not, beware of the enemies before they get you. Best of luck!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Greatest Show on Earth and What Else?

FIFA world cup 2010 is almost coming to an end. This is definitely the greatest show on earth and I have been all occupied with the matches...

However, the show started almost immediately after I was back from Europe. It was a nice tour, starting a day at Amsterdam. Then to Trondheim (Norway), Stockholm and the best part was the night long sea cruise to Helsinki. An experience to remember for the rest of my life.

The days were eventful to say the least. At XP 2010, I presented my paper. Here is the presentation for my caring readers :-)

But XP 2010 was also a great place to meet people from around the world who care about software, its crafts and of course impacts. In very short, I found people to be very interested and starting to explore the possibilities with Lean and Kanban. This was a little surprising, because until now it has almost always been Scrum and XP to have a covering meaning of Agile. But, the industry seems to be leaning towards Lean. This is the beauty of being agile, to be able to adapt with time!
However, Norway seemed to be an expensive place even compared to Calgary. But, don't shy away from Norway for this reason, they have spectacular beauty in their landscape. Serene and soothing. While staying in Trondheim, I visited a cathedral from early 1000's. It was amazing to see the cathedral still standing firmly after so many years... extreme engineering! The city was full of historical buildings... if you haven't heard, the Harry Potter building is actually the main academic building at NTNU. (kidding! but the locals really call it by Harry Potter building)
This is me and my wife in front of the Harry Potter Building!

The city tour and canal cruise at Amsterdam was also a pleasant experience. It was nice to see the centuries old bridges and roads still serving the people so well. It is indeed a bicycle city, everyone in the city seemed to have a bicycle... believe me, they have multi-storied parking facilities only for bicycles! No wonder, why they are so healthy as a nation.

Next, Stockholm is a city full of life. You will see people dancing, having a drink and enjoying their times with friends everywhere. Especially for people like me, who barely see any crowd in Calgary, will find the place to be very exciting and inspiring.

Our Stockholm stay was rather short as we went to Helsinki on a sea cruise with Viking line. This was very eventful. Firstly because me and my wife lost each other when I was rushing into the ship as it was just about to start... then I stepped out of the ship, rushing back to the checkin counter and heard her crying like a baby... she was so upset and so scared! But we eventually managed to get into the ship may be 1 min before the doors were locked!

But this late entrance came with a surprise! We were given a window side cabin although we didn't get one while booking... and the awesome journey began. It was around 5:30 in the evening and the view from the deck was so nice. And there were live music and dance uptill midnight, nice romantic trip altogether. When we landed at the Helsinki city, we roamed around the tourist hotspots and I slept on the grass. Really! I took the following photo before I fell asleep..

However, back to normal life and the greatest show on earth started! At office, I have kind of wrapped up the application that I was working on for the last 3 months and now heading towards another project. This time its gonna be Java after a looong time... At the lab, trying to wrap my thesis related implementations by the summer. Discovering lot of things as I am working with Lucene, Solr, Tika, Acts as Solr and these full text search engine related stuffs. Hope to push a post about these things when I get some time!

But, this is summer in Calgary. And I attended the Canada Day fireworks at the City hall. Here is a photo of the event for my reader:
This is pretty much it. Looking forward to the events at Calgary Stampedes. Hopefully this will also be a wonderful time pass. I will see if I can be back with some real "meat" in this blog shortly!