It’s finally happening - I’m writing a book! Well ok, the remarkable David Chelimsky is writing a book. It’s called Behaviour Driven Development with RSpec, Cucumber and Friends and myself and a few other folks are contributing in varying degrees.
So it’s that time of year again. I’ve got a number of conferences and workshops coming up, ranging over all sorts of topics. I just popped over to Martin Fowler’s site (I’m doing a talk with him this week) and noticed that he has a much more organised setup than me. All his events are in a sidebar and there is a handy link if you want more details. Another idea to go on my to-do pile.
It turns out that having a day job can play havoc with your blogging activities. I’m posting a round-up of recent activities, in no particular order, with the intention of expanding on each of these topics in the coming weeks. But we all know what happens to intentions. This is mostly a brain dump to make me feel guilty enough to write some of it up, so feel free to skip it if you’re busy.
rbehave is a framework for defining and executing application requirements. Using the vocabulary of behaviour-driven development, you define a feature in terms of a Story with Scenarios that describe how the feature behaves. Using a minimum of syntax (a few “quotes” mostly), this becomes an executable and self-describing requirements document. BDD has been around in the Ruby world for a while now, in the form of the excellent rspec framework, which describes the behaviour of objects at the code level.
I’ve got a number of tutorials, conference sessions and keynotes coming up over the next few months that I’m very excited about. My themes for this year are behaviour-driven development, SOA for human beings and understanding what simplicity really means. Looking at these, there is an overarching theme about getting different kinds of people talking to each other in plain English (for some value of English). Keynote at QCon, 14-16 March, London ¶QCon is the London version of the excellent JAOO conference in Denmark, which has become my favourite technology event of the year (apart from phone upgrade time).
So I was hanging out with a bunch of geeks in Switzerland, having one of those late night conversations, and an idea sort of emerged, and the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. And then I was thinking that a) I’m useless at following through on ideas and b) I would love someone to take this forwards. So here it is. Our premise was that the value of automated testing is in its repeatability and low investment (in terms of human effort).
From the session summary The Ruby language has taken the development world by storm. Its combination of clean, object-oriented syntax (everything is an object) coupled with Perl-like platform independence and inline text processing power make it a useful tool both for writing small utilities and as a rapid prototyping language. The popular web framework, Ruby-on-Rails, allows for easy development of highly-functional web applications. This session will explore these aspects of Ruby, namely for utilities, prototyping and web development.