The High-Performance Java Persistence book

A book in the making It’s been a year since I started the quest for a highly-effective Data Knowledge Stack and the Hibernate Master Class contains over fifty articles already. Now that I covered many aspects of database transactions, JDBC and Java Persistence, it’s time to assemble all the pieces together into the High-Performance Java Persistence book.

Why you should pay developers to learn

A true story We were having a meeting with a customer and he had just presented a project idea. He wanted us to give him a draft system architecture, supporting his project technical requirements. At one point, I was telling him that incremental development requires architecture evolution as well. When I said that finding the right architecture is also a learning process, he cut me off short of the following sentence: Do you expect me to pay you to learn? To save the day, I told him I was referring to the… Read More

Effective learning techniques for software craftsmen

Go in one ear and out the other Programming languages, operating systems, SQL, NoSQL, web frameworks, Spring, Java EE, HTML, JavaScript, Agile methodologies, you name it. A developer must know a ridiculous amount of things to become effective. There’s no wonder many of us are struggling to keep pace with the ever-changing programming landscape. When you’re a kid, doing stuff is the most natural way of learning, but then you go to school and you’re brainwashed into thinking that reading is the only way of studying. Become an active learner Ever since… Read More

Afraid of reopened issues?

Introduction Reopened issues and developer feelings don’t mix well, a recurrent phenomenon I’ve seen on all projects I’ve worked on. Some might feel they’ve worked “in vain”, being reluctant to restart it all over again. Reopened issues are bound to happen There is a thin line between taking ownership of your current project and remaining professionally detached at all times. The only thing that matters is the value the customer gets for any given issue, even if it takes more steps than you previously anticipated. In software development, the change is the… Read More

Choosing a leader like an agilist

The leader as a captain I recently read Petri Kainulainen’s article on sharing leadership among team members and I am on the same wavelength in this regard, since the Agile methods emphasizes the importance of “motivated individuals, who should be trusted”. While a team leader could be regarded as a reminiscence of the old rigid organization structures, I still see many benefits of having such a captain. When it comes to improving my people skills, I like to get inspired by other domains of activity that have been struggling with the very… Read More

Code review best practices

Code review is a great software instrument and you should definitely use it to improve the quality of your code. But like any other tool, it may be misused sometimes. That’s why I came up with a list of best practices to guide you when reviewing your peers’ code. Code review is not testing: Code review is a developer-to-developer business and it doesn’t involve any testing. Code review should check if the task requirements are met in the cleanest possible way. You don’t tell what to code review: The same way you… Read More

An open Java Transaction book

We live in a world of both commercial and open-source software, each one having strengths and weaknesses. But when it comes to books, there hasn’t been any noticeable revolution towards embracing new writing methodologies. The current book market shares the same philosophy with commercial software business model. There is a fee for obtaining a book copy, evolution is rather slow and usually, there is a single person carrying all the weight of writing. It’s worth noticing that this model offers only the author’s point of view on a particular subject. Yet, there… Read More

Good vs Bad Leader

Software is more about people than technology. When I graduated from college, I thought I only had to master technical skills to be a great developer, thinking that people skills are the appanage of managers solely. But experience taught me a good lesson on this one. Whenever I hear that people skills can’t be acquired, and you have to be a born with them, I just beg to differ. Nobody is born with any given skill, we learn through observation and by copying others (our role-models). You might get some valuable info… Read More

Teaching is the best way to learn

Introduction Software development is all about knowledge, and nowadays the number of things a programmer needs to know skyrocketed. Most of the time developers are hired by matching their current skills with some project requirements. The project eventually ends, and the developer is assigned to a new project, sometimes using different technologies than what he was previously hired for. What’s the policy for training this guy to deliver his best the soonest possible? Usually, training and coaching are left-out, so each programmer is on his own. Every time we leave things to chance a huge… Read More

Why I never blame open source projects

Every now and then I get to read someone’s bad thought towards a given open-source framework. When I started programming Struts web framework was at its prime, everybody loved it. But then, little by little people started blaming it and then hate followed. Then people started blaming Hibernate and recently MongoDB. I’ve even read that “I shouldn’t use MongoDB“. Well, I delivered projects on Struts, Hibernate and MongoDB, and none of those was ever a blocker. If there is someone to blame it’s usually us, not the frameworks we use. If you… Read More