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Welcome

Hello World! Fáilte. ¡hola. Bienvenue.

I’m a test obsessed software developer, 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

Click here for my blog postings, or see some highlights below. All code examples are published under the permissive MIT opensource license and most are available at my GitHub account.

Most popular blog posts

  • Java Web Frameworks
  • A summary of a controversial Java One talk comparing web frameworks including Grails, Tapestry, Wicket and GWT. Also linked from DZone.

  • Data binding in Spring MVC
  • Discusses data binding in Spring MVC, including the use of custom PropertyEditors

  • Multiple instances of tomcat
  • A step by step tutorial on how to have multiple independent instances of tomcat from a single install.

  • Hamcrest
  • An introduction to this library of matchers, which is a good tool in your unit testing toolbox (although these days I actually prefer FEST).

  • Easymock
  • 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:

Favourite tech books

  • Effective Java
  • The Java bible!

  • The Pragmatic Programmer
  • 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.

  • Test Driven Development
  • The book that opened my eyes to the awesomeness of automated testing.

  • Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests
    A book that shows a Test Driven Development approach in the context of realistic development scenarios.
  • Peopleware
  • Technology issues are insignificant compared to the people and team.

  • 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.