Vanguard Coder

Simple Life of a Keen Developer

The Truth about Development

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If we’re being honest, I think a lot of us would like to continue to be developers, learn and invest ways in making coding efficient, quick, maintainable, and flexible. In essence, we’d like to remain forever young. However, time flows in one direction. And the tracks we leave behind get etched in what we do and write. I still remember the first team I worked with, the first interview, the first code review. They’ve left their mark.

As a Developer, I’ve always believed in the power of technology. But it’s a mean and not and end in itself. And coding and automation may not always be the only solution. A strong skills in analysis, project management, and being able to research the best solution and architect-ing a solid design are all just as vital but are sadly left out in most of the evaluation processes.

As a consultant it always puts things in perspective to deliver a working evolving system whether it is a throw-away application to be used for a year, or something that will remain a core part of the system 20 years later, it is the question of what is the best system and solution to what I’m being asked to deliver.

 

Written by zkashan

July 24th, 2012 at 8:46 pm

How to Pass Coding Challenge Exercise

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Most interviews follow the process of:

  • CV Review
  • Phone Interview
  • Code Challenge
  • In-Person Interview
  • Management/HR Interview.

Passing the code challenge is the easiest part which many developers seem to fall down on. Unfortunately, they take 4-8 hours to do depending on the level of Unit tests you do. This requires a lot of investment in time and effort.

The quickest way to pass is:

1. Use a factory to create different objects (Vehicles, vouchers, etc..)

2. Inject the Algorithm which does the calculation

3. In testing, use mock objects for this algorithm

4. Create a readme about your thoughts, and what could be improved in the code. This is beneficial as the code will be reviewed by someone whose opinion will sway based on the readme.

And that’s it. You’ve demonstrated use of patterns, unit testing and mocking, and will make it to the next round.

Written by zkashan

June 1st, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Posted in Design

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Mingling with Mingle : Intuition

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The past couple of days were spent working on Mingle. I had used mingle a few months ago, and it seemed fairly simple. This is because most of the features like any good user-interface programs are intuitive.

The beauty of Mingle is that it is for all kinds of people in a project. It seems to be geared with projects that rely on Excel to manage business points and stories. In the “old way”, by giving the Excel file to the client, information is shared. However, that seems risky business as not everyone (yep, its true) has Excel (or Excel 2007 with .xlsx extension that can’t be read by old readers – painful when you have v2003 at home).Transferring to Mingle from excel via import is a simple process.

I particularly like the way reports are customisable without going to extreme lengths by keeping everything associated with cards (stories/business point) and their properties. Generating tables from queries, as well as having graphs, pie charts are fairly simple to do – given that there is a readily available example. There are examples included from the Thoughtworks studios website, but going through Thoughtworks sandbox and looking at what other people have done was the best way for me to learn [Learning by example]. No thorough studying or learning is necessary to work in MQL.

It is also vital to understand the limitations, and what a person can’t do at the present (like extracting comments, or cards that were modified recently) in reporting. Perhaps those sort of things are not intended for MQL, or maybe Mingle was not set up correctly by its users as they did not know what sort of report they wanted, thus Mingle was not being used the way it was intended.

But nevertheless, I’ve been able to do almost everything that was requested in generating reports, and that after a few minutes of looking at other projects MQL usage.

It comes back to saying how important a good user-interface design is, and that coupled with making different parts intuitive for Devs, QAs, Clients, and PMs which I think is the #1 reason for Mingle ‘s success.

Written by zkashan

August 29th, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Posted in Design

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