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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 connect with me on LinkedIn, read my occasional technology related posts on Twitter, or email me at . Better still, send me an encrypted email and I guarantee I will respond! You can find my PGP public key on keybase.

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

My favorite posts

These are the posts that I got a lot out of writing or find myself referring back to most often:

  • Presentations

See here for links to talks I have given at code camps, including An intro to Microservices and REST, Software Quality via Unit Testing and An Introduction to Spring.

A few posts on unix command line tools, including grep, find and awk.

  • Spring MVC sample projects

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. Note that unfortunately Cloudbees have since shut down their hosting service, so some links won’t work.

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.

Notes from a talk by Neal Ford, based on his book by the same name. Some good notes on productivity techniques and links to useful tools.

Most popular blog posts

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. I frequently use my own stub implementations these days instead, and Mockito for mocking.

And although I don’t use the pattern much myself anymore, my post on Singletons stills gets a surprising amount of traffic.

Favourite tech books

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.

  • 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.