Archive for category Software Development

Speaking at the Houston Software QA User Group

I’m giving my current favorite talk at the Houston Software QA User Group next Tuesday, Nov 5, at 6pm.

The cool thing about this talk is that it appeals to people in many different roles: developers, QA, business analysts, and product owners. I’ve given this talk at conferences, user groups, and “lunch and learns” at several companies. I’m excited to be delivering it again!

Testing in Agile: from Afterthought to an Integral Part

Testing cannot be an afterthought; it has to be an integral part of software development. Is it something that QA teams do? Or is it part of a developer’s duties? Do business analysts play any role in it? What is test automation? Unit test, Integration test, Test-Driven Development, Behavior-Driven Development… what do those mean?!

This session addresses all of those questions, as we talk through the importance of tests, the collaboration among team members, the techniques, and practices around different kinds of automated testing.

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A New User Group for Those Who Like Improving Code

I’ve realized that, over several years, I’ve developed a passion for changing code until it becomes readable. Yes, I’m a Clean Code addict! 🙂

Whatever the programming language, library, framework, etc, I always look for ways to make the code more readable. It didn’t use to be like that; I used to look for obscure language features I could use in my code. What for? Clever code isn’t that great if most other developers can’t understand it quickly to be confident in changing it when needed.

With those thoughts in mind, I’ve decided to create a new user group for those who, like me, enjoy Improving Code.

I hope to see you at one of our meetings!

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Speaking at Houston Tech Fest 2019

I’ll be speaking at Houston Tech Fest 2019 this Saturday, Sep 14. I always have a time giving talks out there, hanging out with folks I’ve known for a long time, and meeting new people.

Here are the two talks I’ll be giving this year…

How to Break into Public Speaking

Do have an opinion? Ever considered public speaking? If that thought spooks you, join me and Daniel Scheufler at this year’s Houston TechFest. We’ll share with you our secret sauce for breaking into public speaking!

Testing in Agile: from Afterthought to an Integral Part

Testing cannot be an afterthought; it has to be an integral part of software development. Is it something that QA teams do? Or is it part of a developer’s duties? Do business analysts play any role in it? What is test automation? Unit test, Integration test, Test-Driven Development, Behavior-Driven Development… what do those mean?! This session addresses all of those questions, as we talk through the importance of tests, the collaboration among team members, the techniques, and practices around different kinds of automated testing.

I hope to see you there!

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Inspiring Others

My “Testing in Agile: From an Afterthought to an Integral Part” is becoming a hit: I’ve been receiving great feedback and compliments from attendees and many requests to deliver it as a Lunch and Learn at their companies (drop me a note if you’re in the Houston or surrounding area, and I’ll come to your company, too!). I’m so pleased with the response I’ve been getting that I really feel like working on polishing the presentation further (better title, better description, etc.).

One of the points I bring up on this presentation is my “No GWT, no code!” movement. 🙂
As it turns out, people are responding well to that! At some conferences and user groups, when I mention the movement (which initially just came out as a funny remark), I hear attendees saying out loud “YES!!!”. But now, the coolest thing happened… check this out:

I just got to the Improving Houston office and had an envelope that came in the mail for me. What is it?

Yes, “No GWT, no code.” stickers!!

An attendee to my talk at one of the conferences felt inspired, got these made, and mailed it to me. How awesome is that?!

The realization that you’re inspiring others with your work and attitude brings so much joy, while it also keeps the flame burning, providing energy to keep pushing forward. You should try it, too!

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Speaking at the AgileShift Conference in April

I’m going to be speaking at the AgileShift Conference in April!

I’ll be delivering my current favorite talk, for which I’ve been receiving great feedback from people who have seen it (ranging from software developers, QA, business analysts, product owners, etc.):

Testing in Agile: From Afterthought to an Integral Part

Testing cannot be an afterthought; it has to be an integral part of software development. Is it something that QA teams do? Or is it part of a developer’s duties? Do business analysts play any role in it? What is test automation? Unit test, Integration test, Test-Driven Development, Behavior-Driven Development… what do those mean?! This session addresses all of those questions, as we talk through the importance of tests, the collaboration among team members, the techniques, and practices around different kinds of automated testing.

I hope to see you at the conference! 🙂

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Learning New Languages and/or Libraries

When I started to work on some Ruby on Rails projects almost 8 years ago, I knew zero about it. Instead of jumping head-first into learning the language (Ruby) and the framework (Rails), I started by learning how to write unit tests for it. That was the tiniest thing I could do to get my feet wet (passing tests give me that instant gratification we all crave for).

Learning how to write unit tests in whatever language should be relatively easy; if it’s not, I probably would not consider working in such language to begin with!

After learning the basics of writing tests, I can implement simple things in the language however I can, which back then, it meant I was “speaking Ruby with a C# accent”. That’s ok, because once I see my tests passing, I can poke someone who knows a lot more about the language than I do to teach me the better ways to both write the implementation, as well as the test.

I’ve documented my experiences back then on a two-part article (part 1 and part 2). While those posts are already over 7 years old, most of the ideas and approach I covered there still apply today.

More recently, as I started getting my feet wet on ReactJS, one of my first questions was: “how do I write tests for this thing?”.

I like to first learn how to write my tests using Given-When-Then. So, I’ve learned that if I use Jest to test React code (or even plain old Javascript, for that matter), this is how I can get started:

That gets the ball rolling for me…

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Pre-Game Routine to Write Code

I’ve first heard of having a “pre-game routine” in this post by James Clear, and have used to technique a couple of times. This week, I’ve decided to try it out as a “code writing warm-up”. 🙂

The idea is to write a little bit of code for a couple of minutes just to get my mind in that mode. I also decided to stack pair this new habit with either learning or getting better at something I see room for improvement. In my case, that’s ES6.

I’m relatively new to ES6 and am still educating my brain to get used to reading and writing it. I enjoyed using RubyKoans back when I was learning some Ruby, so I figured I could try something similar for ES6.

I’ve found this collection of ES6 Katas; before starting any sort of coding in my workday, I spend 5-10 minutes doing these Katas. I’m digging it!

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