The other day I listened to episode 17 of the Full Stack Radio, which was about conferences and how to get the most out of them. Apparently, a lot of speakers over-think their subject and talk about it on a meta-level. They talk about code instead of showing it. One reason for this is the fear that knowledge about the small and daily things is to insignificant for a talk at a conference, so speakers choose topics that promise to have more impact, like groundbreaking new concepts. Following the podcast episode mentioned above, the “small” everyday things are very valuable for other developers. I think that is the same mechanism as doing pair programming instead of explaining some abstract coding or architecture guideline. Seeing how it gets applied to real code, learning a new shortcut for your IDE or just following the thought patterns of another developer can have a huge impact for your productivity.
Until now, nearly all of my articles have been about one topic that gets dissected in detail. As an experiment, I’m going to write a “What I have learned” article each month. This article will contain important new things I came in contact with in a very short and bullet point -like fashion. Documenting the small things I learned in the last couple of weeks forces to me rethink them and could help other developers out. Let’s see where that takes us. :)
Here’s what I’ve learned in May 2015:
- Why Continuous Delivery is important
- In my last project, we had a JUnit test setup that used an in-memory HSQLDB for testing. I used this without knowing in detail how it worked. To understand in retrospect, I wrote code that does something similar. You can see it here.
- Learned about some security topics and cloud storage by setting up an OwnCloud with server-side encryption and TLS.
- Installed RedPhone and TextSecure by Open Whisper Systems
Let me hear what you think of this new format - is it a nice overview of interesting things or just noise? ;)
I will write a short article about what I’ve learned every month from now on.