James Mead by James Mead

Week 289 - Interesting links

Robot With Long Finger Wants to Touch Your iPhone Apps

Jason Huggins, author of Selenium and co-founder of SauceLabs, has designed Tapsterbot a 3D-printable robot with open-source hardward & software which is capable of mimicing human gestures on touch screens. The idea is that the Selenium-compatible robot can be used to automate acceptance testing of software on touch screen devices. I love the idea of it! JM

Doing the hard work to make things simple

Although I’m not convinced we need to be making it easier for landlords to evict tenants (!), I like the way the team at MoJ Digital Services have chosen to iteratively improve a small part of a large legacy system. JM

When TDD Doesn’t Matter

In this article, Kent Beck suggests that there are three important dimensions in characterizing feedback for a programming decision: scope, clarity, and frequency. He goes on to explain why he finds TDD useful…

TDD is a little box in this big space of feedback, the combination of expressing binary expectations, expressing them as tests, and receiving feedback every few seconds about whether those expectations are being met.

This seems to me to be a sweet spot in the feedback space. You don’t get perfect information, but you get pretty good information at a reasonable cost and quickly enough that you can a) fix problems quickly and b) learn not to make the same mistake again.

This seems like a useful way to decide when it’s worth doing TDD. JM

A Boring Conference - Videos

James Ward has published some more videos from the conference I attended back in June. Of this selection, I probably enjoyed Ali Coote’s talk about operating an ice-cream van the most. JM

On blogging, procrastination, and naivety · Tim’s blog

Tim introduces his post with:

I haven’t written a blog for ages. This is partly because I’m lazy, and I procrastinate (I’ve certainly got lots of half-baked drafts and sets of notes for things I’ve vaguely meant to write about at some point). It’s also partly because I’m never sure if what I have to say is interesting, novel, or even just correct enough to publish.

This pretty much sums up why I haven’t written anything on my personal blog for ages, even though I’d like to.

Tim goes on to mention that he’s been enjoying our credit union blog posts and wonders if it’s because they’re “being written as part of a process of learning and discovering something, not as an artifact resulting from that process”.

I’ve really enjoyed writing those posts and it makes me wonder why I can’t, or simply don’t, write with a similar style on my personal site. Maybe I’ll give it a go… CR

APRILZERO

Anand Sharma has been recording everything he does for the past 123 days (as of 31st Jul 2014) and making it all available on his website. It certainly looks very appealing - I particularly like the individual day entries (e.g. 24th Jul). I’ve been thinking about doing something similar with my own data but can’t imagine I would’ve come up with anything quite this pretty. CR

5 bites of advice for making things

Amy (my partner) and Emily have been collecting research for their Minimum Viable Book for a while now, and have just announced their alpha release. Check out this blog post for a sneak peak of some of the video interviews they captured. CR

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