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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Speaking at the HDNUG tonight!

I’m speaking at the HDNUG tonight! The User Group is hosted at Improving Houston. I’ll be delivering my current top favorite talk out there:

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.

Those who have seen this talk before have been saying it’s a great talk for both developers, as well as QA, Business Analysts, Produt Owners… and I agree with them. 🙂

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Speaking at the Houston Tech Fest this weekend!

I’m speaking at the Houston Tech Fest this Saturday, September 29. This is a great free conference, which started way back in 2007, and I’ve had the honor to speak there every time when I was in town.

I’ll be delivering the following sessions:

  • Testing in Agile: from Afterthought to Integral Part
  • Beyond the Daily Stand-up: An Intro to Scrum
  • Web UI Testing? Yes You Can!
  • Becoming a Better Developer – Part 1
  • Becoming a Better Developer – Part 2

Yup, I’ll be busy most of the day! 🙂

Looking forward to seeing some of you out there.

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Speaking at the Houston Scrum Users Group

Improving Houston has picked up the torch and is bringing the Houston Scrum Users Group back to life, and I have the honor to deliver the first talk of this comeback on May 15!

I’ll be giving my most recent talk, as below:

Testing in Agile: from Afterthought to 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.

Please RSVP on the link below:

https://www.meetup.com/Houston-Scrum-Users-Group/events/250467740/

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Speaking at the Spring Houston Tech Fest on May 5

I’m speaking at the Spring Houston Tech Fest this May 5. I’ll be doing the following sessions:

  • The Software Doesn’t Work? Rewrite it!
  • Code Review: I Mean No Harm!
  • Testing in Agile: from Afterthought to Integral Part
  • Beyond the Daily Stand-up: An Intro to Scrum

I look forward to seeing some of you there!

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Improving Houston is Hiring!

Improving Houston is hiring. We have a TON of positions available!

  • Senior and Principal level Java consultants
  • Consultant, Senior, and Principal .NET consultants
  • Senior and Principal UI/UX consultants
  • Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters

If you’re interested, or know somebody who’d be, contact me at claudio.lassala AT improving.com

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