Monthly Archives: September 2009

Software Engineering 101 Conference Wrap-up

I want to thank the many people involved in putting on such a great conference yesterday.  Over 90 people attended and walked away with tons of great information on OOP, SOLID, code analysis/metrics, and production debugging.

Many thanks go to Jim Holmes for the original idea, and putting together such a great lineup of presenters.

To start the day off right, Leon Gersing talked about the fundamentals of OOP, followed by Jon Kruger‘s SOLID principles presentation.  Then Jim gave a brief presentation of tools for code analysis. Next up, was Scott Walker showing us debugging tools and how to use them in a production environment.  These all lead up to a TDD workshop where we paired up to work on an exercise from Leon.

I can’t begin to express how much I actually came away with from this conference.  If for some reason that you missed it, I can only hope that they put this on again soon.  You’ll benefit greatly by attending.

Want to get started with TDD?

Test Driven Development (TDD) is a software development technique that utilizes unit tests to build better software that is loosely coupled.  TDD can be thought of as Red-Green-Refactor.  First, you create a failing test (Red), then write just enough code in order for the test to pass (Green), then the code can be cleaned up (Refactor) as necessary.

If you’ve never written unit tests, it can be quite tricky.  There is definitely an art to creating good unit tests.  Luckily, a colleague of mine has put together a TDD starter kit to help you come up to speed.  It contains sample projects that you can download and step thru, as well as many links to various topics on all things TDD.

You can find the TDD starter kit here.  I highly recommend downloading and walking through the projects.  Within it, you’ll also see examples of mocks and stubs as well as dependency injection and inversion of control.

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Software Engineering 101

On September 23rd, the Microsoft office in Polaris is hosting a FREE one day event thats targeted to help you build software.  It doesn’t cover the latest and greatest tech skill of the day, but rather fundamentals and principles to help you understand how to build software that is better designed, more maintainable and more testable.

The morning will be spent on the fundamentals surrounding object oriented programing, SOLID principles, as well as a few others.  The afternoon will be more of a hands on TDD workshop.

The conference is being put together by Jim Holmes and has a great lineup of speakers, including Jon Kruger, Scott Walker and Leon Gersing.

This is definitely one to put on the calendar.  Not to mention again…it’s FREE! 

Click here for more details and how to register

Where to start? How about at the beginning.

I constantly ask myself “What types of new development technologies should I be learning? MVC, WPF, Silverlight?…”.  As a developer, you should never be content, you should never allow yourself to get stale. 

As I was trying to determine what to learn next, I read a post from Jon Kruger that put things into perspective.  To become a better developer, you should become an expert in software design patterns and principles.  Someone has already solved your problems.  Take these lessons and use them to become a better developer with the technologies that you already know. 

I feel that there are many other developers just like me who jumped in with both feet to learn new technologies, when they should have started at the beginning.

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