# Friday, 25 April 2008
My new book Code Leader: Using People, Tools, and Processes to Build Successful Software is now available and in stock at Amazon and hopefully soon at stores near you.  The initial outline for the book came from a post I did a while back, This I Believe, the developer edition.  Writing up that post got me thinking about a lot of things, and I've continued to expand on them both in the book and in presentations since then. 

There is a lot of content in the book about working with tools like SCC, static analysis, and unit test frameworks to build better software more efficiently.  I think if I were to sum up the focus, it is that we as developers owe it to our project sponsors to work efficiently and effectively, and there are lots of incremental changes that can be made to the way we work, both in terms of tools and processes to make that happen. 

The reality of modern software development (mostly) is that since the physical constraints like CPU time and memory/disk space have largely fallen away, the goal of any development project (from a technical standpoint) should be optimized for developer productivity.  That includes a wide array of factors from readability of design, how clear developer intent is to future readers, and how resillient our software is to future change to reducing barriers to developer productivity like implementing a good CI process.  Working together as a team across disciplinary and physical boundaries is at least as big a challenge as writing good code. 

I agree very much with Scott that the why and how of software development are often just as important (and harder to get right) than just the what.  I hope that I have something to contribute to the discussion as we all figure it out together...

Friday, 25 April 2008 11:31:59 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Thursday, 06 September 2007
The project I'm working on right now uses SourceGear Vault for SCC, and I must admit, I'm not digging it.  It's like using a slightly more performant version of VSS.  Except that you can set it in "CVS mode" which means it doesn't do exclusive locks.  It seems very difficult to deal with adding new files (if you aren't integrating with VS.NET, which we aren't) and updates seem unreasonably slow, although that may just be me.  It is a pretty big project.  Doing a "Show history" on the whole tree takes over a minute to return any results at all.  It does do change sets, at least, so that's a big plus over VSS. 
In short, I can see tha market here (for people that are comfortable with VSS, but don't want Access databases for their backend) but I'd rather be using Subversion.  I guess I'm just spoiled.

Thursday, 06 September 2007 15:26:07 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Friday, 31 August 2007

For the last week (at my new gig) I've been using ReSharper 3.0, and I must say I'm pretty darned impressed.  I hadn't looked at ReSharper since the very early versions, and had sort of written it off in favor of CodeRush/Refactor, but ReSharper 3 has some pretty compelling features...

  • ReSharper parses your code outside of the compiler, and therefore knows stuff the compiler couldn't, like when you reference something in another namespace without the proper using directive in place, and ReSharper figures out which namespace you mean, and asks if you'd like to add the reference.  Slick.
  • Inline suggestions.  ReSharper parses your code and offers up both errors (in an easier way the VS.NET, IMHO) and suggestions, such as "you really could make this field readonly".  These errors and suggestions are also displayed in a sidebar next to the scroll bar as red, green or yellow lines, so you can scroll the the problems quickly.  Nice.
  • Integrated NUnit support.  I love the way ReSharper handles NUnit integration.  You get little buttons in the right hand sidebar (where your breakpoints show up) that allow you to run or debug individual tests or the whole fixture.  The results get put in a custom results pane, much neater than the text based report you get from TestDriven.NET.  If you happen to have JetBrains profiler, that's integrated as well. 
  • Clever autocompletion.  I know I probably shouldn't be so impressed with this one, but just this morning I wrote a line that returned an IEnumerable, then on the next line typed foreach, and it completed the whole block, figured out the right types, etc.  Very clean.
  • Nice refactoring support.  I haven't had too much time to play with this yet, but it looks like it supports a goodly number of refactorings.  Cool.

I'm looking forward to playing with it more in the days to come.

Friday, 31 August 2007 09:49:06 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  |