karldmoore development

A development oriented blog, containing anything I've been working on, reading or thinking about.

Archive for September, 2008

Yes You Are Making Changes, But That Doesn’t Make It Refactoring!

Posted by karldmoore on September 26, 2008

There are some words in software development that overtime lose all meaning. The more these words are used, and importantly, the more they are used out of context, the more the original meaning is lost. It becomes just one of those words that is fitted into a conversation without even thinking about it. One word that often suffers from this problem is refactoring.

The term Refactoring is widely used throughout software development. Martin Flower is one of the primary documenters of refactoring, and popularised it in his seminal book, Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code. Many people who use the word refactoring however, have never heard of the book and more importantly don’t have a clear understanding of what refactoring actually is.

Refactoring is described as; a disciplined approach for modifying code without changing it’s externally observable behavior. This approach is focused around applying small changes to the code, each of which maintains the existing behaviour. By incrementally applying a number of refactorings, the code can be modified in a measured and controlled manner. Extreme programming embraces this approach with a rule named refactor mercilessly.

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Posted in Development, Opinion, Refactoring | Tagged: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Are Conferences Really Worth The Money?

Posted by karldmoore on September 10, 2008

Nearly a year ago, I posted a question on Spring Forum entitled, “am I working for the wrong companies or is it just not that common to attend conferences?”. I’ve worked as a developer for over six years and as yet I’ve never had the opportunity to attend a single conference. I thought I might be alone in this, but I’ve spoken to a large number of developers who are in exactly the same position, some of whom have worked in the industry far longer than I have.

Having worked for small companies in the past, I can fully understand the problems associated with sending developers to conferences. Sending one developer doesn’t cost a vast amount of money, but if all your developers want to go the money really does start to mount up. After the issue of cost, you then have to factor in the lost development time, not only for the conference but travelling to and from the event as well. The various costs to the business can soon become very prohibitive.

Back in January of this year, I decided that I would make sure I attended a conference this year, and decided I would just pay for it myself. I wanted to see if conferences really are worth the money. After months of discussing it on Spring Forums, I had the pleasure of attending SpringOne in June. The conference, hotel, travel and other costs came in at around £800 (€1200 or US$1600) in total. I also decided to take a weeks holiday from work to make the most of my trip.
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Posted in Opinion, Spring | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Spring Framework: Where Can I Find Examples And Resources?

Posted by karldmoore on September 3, 2008

When ever I’m working with Spring, one of the most common questions I get asked is “where can I find good quality examples and resources?” I hate to disappoint people that I have some secret stash of information, but I get everything I need from the same places as everyone else! Here’s a brief overview of the places I visit:

  1. Spring Framework reference documentation – I’ve found the reference manual to be the best source of information on the framework. Anytime I have a question, the first place I look is here! It’s constantly updated, and it contains lots of recommendations and best practices from the Spring development team. What better recommendations can you have then the people that wrote it!
  2. Spring Framework support forum – If you’re still left with questions after looking through the reference documentation, the Spring support forum provides a very active and friendly community. There are thousands of answers already on there, so it really pays to do a quick search before you post. If you do post a question make sure you do it the smart way.
  3. Spring Source Team Blog – Spring from the source. What better place to get information and updates on what the Spring development team are doing.
  4. Spring Framework Javadoc – If you want to find details on the API of the Spring classes, the comprehensive JavaDoc is the place to go.
  5. Spring Hub – An independent site containing lots of links and resources related to Spring.
  6. Spring Framework JIRA – If you think you’ve found a bug or want to propose an enhancement, JIRA is the place to go.
  7. Spring Framework Mailing List – If you want to follow the progress of Spring development, you can view the mailing list here or even subscribe.
  8. Sample Applications – Spring ships with a number of excellent sample applications. Look through them, play with them and understand them. Many people use these examples as a base for their applications, they are an excellent starting point.
  9. Source code – One of the most over looked resources that Spring has to offer is it’s source code. It’s well structured, well written and easy to follow. It’s also a great place to get answers. The source code for the unit tests is also included with the release. What more information could you be looking for?
  10. Spring Books – If you are still looking for more information, there are a wide selection of books available. There are several existing threads on Spring forum that discuss the various books and their relative merits.

Posted in Spring | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »