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OSCON Day3 – The Joys of Engineering Leadership

The first talk of Day 3 at OSCON was “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People: The Joys of Engineering Leadership” by Brian ‘Fitz’ Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman, both from Google.

What is an engineering leader?

  • Serves the team
  • Eliminates roadblocks
  • Provides advice, guidance and helps get job done
  • Mutual respect/Mutual trust
  • Promotes technical and social health
  • Leadership is not a waste of time…
  • Being a team leader is a way of scaling yourself

The speakers broke their talk on how to be a good leader down in to two sections, which were (in good coding tradition) patterns and anti-patterns…

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OSCON Day2: Scala

I attended the Scala Summit on day 2 at OSCON.

As well as the Scala introduction classes, there were interesting talks on Akka, Simple Build Tool and Specs….

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OSCON Day1: The Productive Programmer, part 2

The following are my notes from the second part of Neal Ford‘s “The Productive Programmer” talk on best practices (see here for part1 on mechanics). Again, you can get the original slides form here.

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OSCON Day1: The Productive Programmer

I spent the afternoon of day 1 at OSCON listen to Neal Ford give his “The Productive Programmer” talk and I have to say I loved it. I have heard Neal talk before and he is an excellent speaker: clear, funny, interesting and knowledgeable.

The talk was in 2 parts: Mechanics and Practice.
Below are my notes from the first part of the talk (see here for part2), but you can also get the original slides form here. The talk is based on his book of the same name, The Productive Programmer. Which is similar in theme but not to be confused with the “The Pragmatic Programmer” book.

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OSCON Day1: Test Driven Database Development

The first tutorial at OSCON was on Test Driven Database Development. The idea was to use pgTAP to write unit tests to check database correctness, including table structures, views and stored procedures. As a fan of Test Driven Development (TDD) for regular code, the concept of using it on the database tier makes a lot of sense.

Unfortunately I had a lot of problems getting the required software setup working, which included PostgreSQL, pgTAP, Test::Harness, make and perl. Ultimately I wasn’t able to get the examples running due to imcompatabilities between PostgreSQL and pgTAP on my Macbook Pro (OS X 10.5.8) and ended with this error:


dyld: Library not loaded: /usr/local/lib/libxml2.2.dylib
Referenced from: /Library/PostgreSQL/8.4/lib/postgresql/pgxs/src/makefiles/../../src/test/regress/pg_regress
Reason: Incompatible library version: pg_regress requires version 10.0.0 or later, but libxml2.2.dylib provides version 9.0.0

I considered trying to upgrade libxml, but there were suggestions that this could cause my machine to not boot! I even considered upgrading to OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), but decided that this was a little too close to shaving yaks.

I would really like to get more familiar with pgTAP at some point, but I will have to put on hold for now…

Update: I managed to get some input from David Wheeler, worked through the technical issues and got all the tests running. Thanks David! Despite the earlier setup problems, I came away with a very positive feeling about TDDD and pgTAP and can see it playing a part in any future database schema development I do.

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Open Source Convention in Portland, Oregon

I will be attending the week long Open Source Convention (OSCON) next week in Portland, Oregon. Looking forward to it as there is a huge variety of talks, including databases, Android, Scala, Spring, HTML5 and a bunch of Google technologies. Get in touch with me at Shaun at Abram dot com if you happen to be going along…

HTML5 talk at Google Technology User Group

Last Wednesday, I attended a talk on HTML5 at the Silicon Valley Google Technology User Group (SV GTUG). HTML5 is a broad term for the next generation of web technologies, including (obviously) the next and long overdue version of HTML, as well as CSS and JavaScript Libraries. The talk was in 3 sections: The first by Seth Ladd (a Developer Advocate for Google) was an introduction to HTML5; The second by Tab Atkins Jr. (a Software Engineer at Google) was on the new HTML5 <video> and <canvas> tags; And the third and final section was by Nathan Naze (also a software engineer at Google) on the Closure JavaScript Library.

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Selenium talk at SF JUG

I attended another great San Francisco JUG meeting tonight, this time on How to use Selenium with Maven/Ant to automate testing of web apps.

The talk was given by Chris Bedford, from Build Lackey Labs – “Automating the Monkey Work Out and the Quality In!”. Overall, I thought this was a great talk by Chris. He clearly has a huge amount of experience creating automated tests and integrating them with build tools and he gave a well structured, interesting, well delivered presentation. I have posted a copy of Chris’s slides and I think the video will be posted on the SF JUG site at some point, but I have also posted my notes from the presentation below…
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‘An Introduction to Spring’ at LA Code Camp

I gave my ‘An Introduction to Spring’ talk today at the LA code camp. It went fairly well I think. I had very little time to go through the Spring MVC module at the end, but perhaps I will give that as a separate talk another day.

I have posted the presentation slides here.

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Speaking at LA Code Camp

I am very pleased to say I will be speaking at the LA Code Camp this weekend. My topic is An Introduction to Spring. I will try to post a report from the code camp this weekend…

This is the same talk I had planned to present at the Silicon Valley Code Camp, so great to be finally giving it…

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