Java and Technology weblog
I’m a test infected software developer, interested in software design, architecture and continuous deployment. Originally from Northern Ireland but now living in San Francisco, California.
You can reach me on LinkedIn, I make occasional technology related posts on Twitter, or you email me at
I’m always interested to hear about open source projects, technology meetups or any excuse to meet for a beer.
Most popular blog posts
- Java Web Frameworks
- Data binding in Spring MVC
- Multiple instances of tomcat
A summary of a controversial Java One talk comparing web frameworks including Grails, Tapestry, Wicket and GWT. Also linked from DZone.
Discusses data binding in Spring MVC, including the use of custom PropertyEditors
A step by step tutorial on how to have multiple independent instances of tomcat from a single install.
An introduction to this library of matchers, which is a good tool in your unit testing toolbox (although these days I actually prefer FEST).
An introduction to this mock testing framework.
And although I don’t use the pattern much myself anymore, my post on Singletons stills gets a surprising amount of traffic.
My favorite posts
These are the posts that I got a lot out of writing or find myself referring back to most often:
- Spring MVC sample projects
- An Introduction to Spring
- Checked Exceptions
- “The Productive Programmer” Part 1 and part 2
- A find files script
I have a few posts on SpringMVC sample projects I’ve created, including a spreadsheet like user interface, a SpringMVC file download example, a SpringMVC HelloWorld template, and a simple app for managing money called MyMoney. I use these projects as a way to get more familiar with certain technologies, but they are also a useful resource to bootstrap new projects.
A link to my slides from a talk I gave at the LA code camp. There’s nothing like giving a talk to help you solidify your knowledge on a topic.
Writing this post, and the related Exceptions vs Return Values helped clarify for me how to correctly use Exceptions in Java, and the exceptional (pardon the pun), and rare, cases in which to use checked exceptions.
A very simple script to find files in unix that I use all the time.
Favourite tech books
- Effective Java
- The Pragmatic Programmer
- Test Driven Development
- Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests
A book that shows a Test Driven Development approach in the context of realistic development scenarios.
- Design Patterns
Try to read it cover to cover and you’ll likely fall asleep, but it is an indispensable reference book when you feel like you’re reinventing the wheel.
- The Mythical Man Month
An oldie but definitely still very relevant.
The Java bible!
A great book that reminds us that we can and should treat the software development process as an art and a craft. Full of good techniques and memorable analogies such as no broken windows.
The book that opened my eyes to the awesomeness of automated testing.
Technology issues are insignificant compared to the people and team.