Author Archives: RNewstead

About RNewstead

I am learning every day. Sometimes I worry there are too many interesting things in the world and not enough time.

Pair Programming: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Firstly, as a massive caveat to this post, let me say that I’ve only ever worked for two companies. I have worked on different teams within these, but nonetheless I realise I don’t have a wide range of experience here. … Continue reading

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Lightning Talk

Last week I gave a lightning talk about my experiment with Test Driven Development. It’s available on Vimeo here.

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Test Driven Book Review Conclusions

There were some clear advantages to the TDD approach to writing. In particular, writing the acceptance test first made me focus on exactly what I was trying to achieve. In some ways this is similar to writing an essay where … Continue reading

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Book Review Development

I have an acceptance test: Given a review is written about a book When I read the review I know if I want to read the book. To set up the given, I need a book and a review. I’ve … Continue reading

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Can I Test Drive A Book Review?

I am often asked about how a history graduate ended up being a software developer. Usually I give some vague spiel about the parallels between the two (see my earlier post). A while back I got talking about TDD in the same breath, which led me to wonder: can I test drive an essay? It’s been too long since I’ve written an essay (and I can’t say I miss it), so I decided to test drive a book review instead. Continue reading

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Back to the blog

A while back my sister, who teaches at a secondary school, asked me to give a talk to her students about what I do.  After some initial resistance (about six months), I decided I’d do it.

I started thinking about when I was at school and how I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  In many ways I am none the wiser now, but I have found something that I enjoy doing, that challenges me, and that I can keep on learning as I do it. This may not always be the case, but it is for now.  At school I just did as I was told. I got good grades, I went to a good uni, got a good degree.  Then it was all a bit scary as I was suddenly on my own and free from the expectations of my parents and teachers / lecturers.  There was a vague idea that I should get some sort of job / career, but it was a lot more fuzzy about what this should be and what ‘good’ actually meant in this context.  Basically it was now a lot more about what I actually wanted rather than what other people wanted for me.  And somehow I ended up going into IT and now I’m a software developer. Rather surprising for a history graduate, but it’s worked out pretty well.

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5 Commandments of Testing

After six months of calling myself a tester I am moving back into development for the forseeable future. However my time in testing has really opened my eyes to its importance in software development. The following ‘commandments’ are important lessons I have learnt about testing, in roughly the order that I learnt them. Continue reading

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