Why Test Driven Development saves time and money

Often times developers insist that writing code first is the quickest way to get your product launched. For the most part this is a fallacy. Test Driven Development may result in slower ramp up, but that really means more investment in well designed and well structured code. Carpenters call this “measure twice and cut once.” Many developers go with the “measure, cut, measure, cut, measure, cut, glue, measure, get a new piece of wood” approach. Using a testing framework like Jasmine will reduce the overall costs (time and money) and improve the overall product.

TDD is also a great learning tool for newer developers. It helps encourage code reusability and encourages better design by reducing the reliance on monolithically giant functions/methods.

There’s a great write up I just came across that details several more benefits and explains how it improves the quality of the product while simultaneously reducing the overall time to market.


Caffeine – The Science behind your morning cup of Joe

Cup of Coffee

Ever wonder if that morning boost does more than just clear up the fog?  Coffee is a great source of caffeine and comes with a number of added benefits such as warding off depression, various types of cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s — which in my opinion outweigh the negatives associated with coffee drinking.  I’ve (mostly) given up soda and other soft-drinks, so coffee and cream (no sugar) is my primary source of caffeine now since it’s a natural way to get caffeine without any fake sweeteners or other chemicals.   Essentially,  I like to think of coffee as a dehydrated type of fruit juice.

I’ve never understood exactly how coffee and caffeine works.  This 4 minute science video explains — in an ever increasingly caffeinated way — what happens when caffeine hits your system, how the drug affects in your brain, and how much it would take to kill you.  Spoiler alert, it’s pretty tough to coffee yourself to death.

Hour Zero: The First Hour of your Workday

My job requires me to be constantly in contact with dozens of folks through email, so I find it very difficult to go for any extended period of time without checking my email.  I came across an article awhile back that explains what you ought to do with your first hour at work. Even if I am not intending on getting any “early” work done, I always like to get into the office well ahead of the start of my workday.  It gives me time to settle in and be more prepared for what lay ahead.  Grabbing a cup of coffee, chit-chatting, filling up my water bottle — just the general tasks that help ready me for a successful day.  When I arrive just in time for the start of the work-day, everything feels a little off;  it’s a bit like stepping on a  band-aid and walking around with it stuck on the bottom of your shoe all day.

I also tend to walk into work with a number of tasks at the front of my mind that I want to get done immediately.  I’ve probably been mulling them over since my drive home the previous night and want to see if I can get any of them in play before my first meeting.

The “Choose Your Frog” example is particularly resonant with me and how one ought to plant the seeds (or tadpoles?) for motivation and create lay some bread crumbs for the following morning.  As a developer, I would do this by leaving my last line of code as something that had no chance of compiling so that I could kick off a code build first thing and be reminded of where I was last working.

for (i = 0; i < 100; i++)
	bool fizzed = false;
	if (i % 5 == 0);
		print: fizz;
		fizzed = true;

Here’s a link to the article… Work Smart: What Successful People Do With The First Hour Of Their Work Day