Saturday, June 2

Books and Tree Surgeon

I am almost about to finish Joel on software. It is a fun book for developer and actually puts a smile on your face. I really liked his style of writing and presenting this experiences.

He says on recruiting, he only looks for 2 qualities in "Smart" and "gets things done".

I also like his "Joel Test" for evaluating employers. Quoting him:

1.Do you use source control?
2.Can you make a built in one step?
3.Do you make daily builds?
4.Do you have a bug database?
5.Do you fix bugs vefore writing new code?
6.Do you have an up-to-date schedule?
7.Do you have a spec?
8.Do programmers have a quite working conditions?
9.Do you use the best tools money can buy?
10.Do you have testers?
11.Do new candidates write code during their
12.Do you do hallway usability testing?

Also interesting is his idea about "hallway usability testing", which I actually implemented on a recent project. Its amazing how much input you get from fellow developers, their criticism, ideas to make the ap better. Hallway testing will stay with me forever.

I recently bought Code Complete, Jeff Atwood swears by this book. I want to read this book, its a big one. He considers it as the bible for all software developers.

I went to Barnes and nobles to read a book called Head First Design Patterns, I really liked the book and concepts were explained so beautifully. I just read about the "Strategy Pattern" and loved the way they presented the materials. I liked the line "Just because you know every OO concept doesnt mean you know how to use they".
some of the concepts I can still remember are
Encapsulate everything that changes
Use Composition over inheritance
Code to Interfaces and not implementations.

I came accross an amazing tool called "Tree Surgeon" which creates a development tree for you. just give it a project name and "voila" it creates a development tree for your project. One of the criticism received from David Heinemeier Hansson was that gives you a clean slate when you start with a new project. One has to be knowledgeble enough to setup the testing framework, business layer, build project. If you are new to .Net and not fortunate enough to have a good mentor, you would probably end up with a bloated project. Tree Surgeon does all that for you.

I am going to try and use it in some home project, probably a project to do an existing project using the MVP pattern. I will report my findings.

It will also introduce me to NAnt build system. I have only been using VS 2005 for building my projects uptill now.

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