Write Automated Tests

One of the Devs I used to work with has been asking a lot of questions recently, all revolving around what can only be considered the principles I hold dear as a TDD champion. I don’t claim to be a guru, but I hope to be able to start some conversation about the importance of automated testing, some of the principles I hold dear and most of all I intend to engage you readers so I can learn from your experiences and possibly guide you if questions arise.

Let’s dive in.

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Semi-Technical – Intern to the Rescue Episode 93

New and Improved Bacon Flowchart

Occasionally I unearth a problem that I had no idea existed, but in doing so I save the world from something that they never even thought would be happening. Yesterday was one such event, and I saved Broadcom at least a week worth of debugging by spending a couple hours working with cursors and a temp database to check the integrity of our data after a major change to the contents. This is only semi-technical, so bear with me…

Overview

I am currently working on a project with high visibility within Broadcom. We have two disparate applications both tracking projects, their revision, a number of other overlapping fields and many other fields that are not shared. We defined one as the Master, because it has uniqueness and a number of data integrity checks, and the other as the Slave. The catch is that we have a many to one mapping between Slave and Master which means we have to look deeper.

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June: No Facebook

The USP MatchIt looks like i may be moving back to Source to help out the FA:S team. As many of you may already know, many of the games that i have worked on over the last decade have been inspired by the work done on FireArms (FA). One of the developers that took part in that project, a guy nick named Maz0r, is someone I’ve idolized for a long time.

He is heading up the programming of FA:S now and i will be working with him =D

Hopefully i wont let him down. =)

I have also found that i am far too interested in my friends events and bullshit on facebook, so in an effort to weed that out of myself im going to be cutting back. June is cold turkey month. I am blocking the website from my browser and redirecting all requests to my blog. Hopefully ill be able to get back to a respectable level of development.

Currently my projects for the summer include updating the VBT plugin, adding a new plugin revolving around libraries and books being read. I am also working on getting resources together for the rewrite of Project White. One good Samaritan has already begun the rewrite of the cover and third person camera.

If all works out, ill also be working on FA:S and helping out on that project. I haven’t touched Source in a while (3 years) but i got it all set up again last night, so things are moving again. Hopefully ill be comfortable as i used to be this week. The only complication i can think of is my Screenwriting class requiring my time. All of my pages (Some 100 pages or so) are due on June 8th. It will be quite difficult, but i think i can make it. I’ve scrapped my scene list a few times, and revised entire segments of it

Life may allow me to get things straight, but it may not. Only time will tell.

Chronicles of Broadcom – How NOT to code

I have been writing a lot lately, unfortunately not in direct relation to my blog or public persona. I have been unable to code properly in the last month and it has been wearing my managers thin. We are trying to add a couple seemingly simple modules to a perl cgi application and I’m running into the age old problem of code complexity being the bane to all existence. I ranted previously about how goofy the code that the previous developer chose to use for the template engine, and I wish that were the end of the train. I have hit a weird stand point. It seems like adding anything to this is a pain. Let’s take a step through the code, together.

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Languages Span!

I have often been caught in the cross fire of the ongoing and awfully brutal and emotional language wars. I am a C programmer by choice and a PHP/Perl Developer by trade, so I get some of the most heated and misfortunate of the angry or emotionally charged responses from people who just do not know a god damned thing about what they are talking about. Scarier is when I hear absurdities from people who actually do know something about their topic. For some reason they want to stick their toes into my pool and do not like the temperature of the water so they go into a tirade about how I should change the color of the water with some dye and install a heater, oh and the chlorine content is too low or too high and algae will form; who knows, maybe you should add this algae snake as well to keep it from getting to the bottom! I apologize for the extended analogy here but it stands. It is important that Comp Sci. and Developers alike learn at least one thing about languages before they enter the market and end up coding themselves into a corner – There is no such thing as a language level, Languages Span!

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Atheist Nation Chat System

Its actually an ingenious design that leverages AJAX/Javascript along side PHP. It is literally as complex as what used to be called a shout box, although the shoutboxes of my time were nearly always static and didn’t require you to even touch databases if you so chose. Strictly speaking, my previous post was covering some of the more apparent and obvious issues with the design of the chat system that AN was using; this will be an overview of the design and some direction that we are intending to proceed with the project. I will be including some of the code here for references, but rest assured the table, field and even the queries will be altered in order to protect the integrity of the system.

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