Linkfest 2011-06-05

A quick set of links I’ve enjoyed recently.

How Facebook pushed new code live
I was going to link right to the Facebook video. However, this blog does a far better job of summarizing than I would.  The culture of technical excellence and responsibility is what stands out to me. I found the PHP compiler and BitTorrent aspects especially interesting.

RailsConf 2011 Video Playlist from O’Reilly
There was a post by Peter Cooper live blogging DHH’s keynote at Ruby Inside, which took me to the full play list. DHH is aways interesting to listen to, and this talk hits a lot of highlights of Rails 3.1. I also enjoyed Aaron Patterson’s, though that is as much for the dancing as the presentation. I had not heard of Code For America, so Dan Melton’s talk spawned some research. Honestly, every video I watched gave me something to think about and is making me thing more seriously about getting to some Ruby conferences.

Ruby Rogues Podcast
After not listening to a software podcast in a couple of weeks, this one has me hooked. The podcast has several Ruby contributors I recognize as panelists. Having a decent focus and a solid moderator lets the panel style work. Listening to smart and energetic people talking about something they enjoy is just a good experience. Having recently read the Pragmatic Programmers RSpec book, the discussion around it and Cucumber in the first episode was great. Doing a quick review of the list of podcasts, the first four I have listened to have all been excellent and given me things to think about.

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Linkfest 2011-05-18

A quick set of links I’ve enjoyed in the past month.

Lunch – at Joel on Software
Good thoughts on one way to help keep a team, even a partially siloed team, more connected. This post was the straw that broke the camel’s back and prompted me to schedule lunch with our whole development group once a week. The group lunch is something we used to do, but have gotten away from. Some of the developers had mentioned that the team was feeling fragmented, so I’m using this as one way to help. I do not know if this will bear fruit by breaking down barriers, but at least once a week the we can all eat away form our desks and have some social interaction.

Working effectively with legacy code
This post has four things going for it. First, I like this blog and the book written by the author (though I still need to finish it). Second, I really like the Michael Feathers book the post references. Third, I was able to point one of the developers working at my company at this post to give him some ideas as he attempts to add unit tests and tries TDD on a code base he wrote about a year ago. Last, it is a good well written post.

The Hot/Crazy Solid State Drive Scale
During the past 6 months I have been thinking about purchasing a SSD, and this gave me some pause. The post also gets bonus points for referencing a TV show that I enjoy. Buying a SSD is not in my near term future, but I’ll keep this one in the pocket if I do it any time soon.

Rails for Zombies
This was a really good beginners tutorial on Rails. I found it enjoyable and fun. Did it turn me into a real Rails developer? Not even close. Did it give me a basic framework and understanding to spring board me into doing Rails development? I would say yes. Have I been able to leverage that? Unfortunately, no.