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{ Monthly Archives } December 2018

Research Watch, and Java by Contract

I introduced Java by Contract, a tool for building design-by-contract style invariants, preconditions and postconditions in Java using annotations. It’s MIT licensed, contributions are welcome, and I hope this helps lots of people to introduce stronger correctness checking into your software. And book office hours if you’d like me to help you with that. Java […]

Teaching Quality Object-Oriented Programming

About this paper Teaching Quality OOP by Yishai A. Feldman, published March 2005 (see the link for full citation). Notes One of the points made in my book Object-Oriented Programming the Easy Way is that objects should be specified by their interfaces through contracts, which say what messages the objects respond to, how you use […]

Cleaner Code

Readers of OOP the easy way will be familiar with the distinction between object-oriented programming and procedural programming. You will have read, in that book, about how what we claim is OOP in the sentence “OOP has failed” is actually procedural programming: imperative code that you could write in Pascal or C, with the word […]

Product teams: our products are not our products

Woah, too many products. Let me explain. No, it will take too long, let me summarise. Sometimes, people running software organisations call their teams “product teams”, and organise them around particular “products”. I do not believe that this is a good idea. Because we typically aren’t making products, we’re solving problems. The difference is that […]

Mapping software engineering tools

Despite the theory that everything can be done in software (and of course, anything that can’t be done could in principle be approximated using numerical methods, or fudged using machine learning), software engineering itself, the business of writing software, seems to be full of tools that are accepted as de facto standards but, nonetheless, begrudgingly […]

More speed, lower velocity

I frequently meet software teams who describe themselves as “high velocity”, they even have graphs coming from Jira to prove it, and yet their ability to ship great software, to delight their customers, or even to attract their customers, doesn’t meet their expectations. A little bit of sleuthing usually discovers the underlying problem. Firstly, let’s […]

Figurative Programming and Gloom: the [G]raphical [LOOM]

Donald Knuth is pretty cool. One of the books he wrote that I own and have actually read[*] is Literate Programming, in which he describes (among other things) weaving program text and documentation together in a single narrative. Two of his books that I own and have sort of dipped into here and there are […]

Two books

A member of a mailing list I’m on recently asked: what two books should be on every engineer’s bookshelf? Here’s my answer. Many software engineers, the ones described toward the end of Code Complete 2, would benefit most from Donald Knuth’s The Art of Computer Programming and Computers and Typesetting. It is truly astounding that […]