My first couple of months at Codurance

Some background

Five Characteristics of a Great Company CultureSome of you may know me from the various meetups in the city, especially my attendance at a number of LJC and LSCC meetup events. Attending these events I learnt about various conferences like Devoxx, SoCraTes, JAX LondonJava2Days, OpenFest, and I ended up attending and later presenting on various topic including Adopt OpenJDK.

During this time I met a lot of people with various levels of experience and my interest and urge to learn more about the Java/JVM platform, Code Quality, Software Design, XP Practices, Software Craftsmanship, etc…, were on the rise and saw no end. And whilst attending these events I came across Sandro and Mash, who were in those days hosting LSCC events. I went to many of LSCC events, especially liked the hands-on sessions (which are still my favourite).

I also noticed that many things I learnt at such events and conferences wouldn’t always be immediately recognised or accepted at the workplace. And moving to another work environment didn’t always solve this problem fully. I found that I wasn’t learning what I wanted from my peers and the things I learnt from the community I couldn’t apply at work. Besides very few were really in tuned with what the community was about. So one fine day I decided to take charge of my career and make a serious decision and take up the Apprenticeship program offered by Codurance and go through the process.

I was urged to go this way after being inspired by Sandro’s book: The Software Craftsman, attending all the SoCraTes UK conferences, and meeting with developers who valued and took pride of their work namely their craft.

I was urged to go this way after being inspired by Sandro’s book: The Software Craftsman, attending all the SoCraTes UK conferences, and meeting with developers who valued and took pride of their work namely their craft.

Where we are just now

It’s now been nearly two months since I have been working for Codurance, a formidable force. And so it’s also about time that I share my experiences with my fellow mates and the community around me.

During my first few weeks at Codurance, I have been busy learning various things that have been chalked out for becoming a craftsman.

When working on a kata or learning a concept, we paired or did what is known as ‘mob programming’ along with other apprentices and craftsmen. And most of the time used the pomodoro technique. Time boxing our work in intervals is something done both in groups and working individually. We would have a lot of discussions and retrospectives after working on a problem or writing some code from scratch.

Structure of my program

We used an internal tool based on the concept of Impact Mapping. I soon got interested in it when I saw my colleague Franzi (who is now a craftswoman) had used it to plan out her Apprenticeship route. Such a tool helps map out our goals and the tasks we need to perform to achieve it. And this can differ from person-to-person, depending on what they want to work on (driven by the Apprentice).

My mentor and other craftsmen reviewed them to get an idea of what I wanted to achieve for myself. And then its up to me to apply my own drive and perseverance to achieve the individual stories. My mentor and I meet and talk informally on a regular basis, many times pairing on a kata or a project or on the white board trying to get my head around a concept.

Days in the life of an Apprentice

I found the working hours quite flexible, remote working is also an option (when you are on the bench or if the client allows, if you are in a project). Our co-founders are understanding and compassionate about our individual situations.

Meetings are at their minimum, except for a weekly Apprentices meeting (run by an Apprentice and guided by at least one Craftsperson) and a bi-monthly company-wide catchup.

The Apprentices meetings are full of fun — we are accompanied by at least one Craftsperson, who disperses their knowledge and experience from a wide variety of topics designed to help us in the journey and fill the gaps in our knowledge and experience.

A bi-monthly catchup involves sharing of knowledge via lightning talks, discussions and pairing sessions on pet projects over pizzas and beer (and of course veggies and non-alcoholic beverages for the teetotalers).

Katas, code reviews, mob programming and projects make up a learning week – all of these done individually or when pairing with another.


On a daily basis I have worked on different katas or try to solve the same kata in various different ways (using different testing and refactoring approaches). This in turn gave me better insights into designing and refactoring techniques. Trying to solve the same problem in different ways has a positive impact on our problem solving skills especially when writing code. In my case I also learnt how to use the different libraries and methods to write tests. I would like to cite Samir, thanks to you, for the suggesting this approach during the first week of my Apprenticeship.

Code reviews

Just last week we did a group code review and time-boxed ourselves, performed a retrospective at the end of each interval and ensured we delivered a good chunk of the feedback before close of play. Such regular code review exercises are helping all of us learn about how to code better as we are not only learning from feedback from the tools we used, but also through exchange of feedback from our peers who were involved in the group code review session.

Software Design, Specification Gathering & Communication

Recently we had an interesting mob-programming session where we were trying to model and write a game. At the end of the session, we had a retrospective, discussing the things we did well and didn’t do well. Each of the apprentices and craftsmen were performing a specific role i.e. Developer, Domain Expert, etc… We learnt in retrospective, about areas where we could have done better and should focus on. That any test written gives immediate feedback about how well we have understood the domain and if we were taking the right approach. Why a certain approach when starting a project is more advantageous than another approach. What questions to ask and why it is important to ask the right questions to the domain expert or to give the right level of information to another developer and vice-versa. Sandro has described this process in detail in his blog post recently.

Fun, socialising and sharing

I found our office environment to be conducive to learning, sharing and collaboration. We even have a pairing rota that we use from time-to-time to record or suggest pairing sessions during the week.

We share links to events, conferences, tweets, interesting articles, videos, blog posts, etc… via slack, document discussions and brain dumps via Google doc, huddles during lunch- and tea- breaks to talk about anything we are working on. Thanks to the library of printed and digital books to our disposal, the huge collection of blog posts and videos on our site.

The apprentices and some craftsmen have collectively started a social event which of course happens every Friday, sometimes it’s dinner at a nearby restaurant, while at other times an indoor movie over snacks and drinks at our office premises.

It is worthwhile and that’s why we are here

It is a privilege to be able to work alongside very experienced craftsmen from our industry. We are very lucky and thankful to have the opportunity to be guided and mentored by talented and like minded developers.

This is my first job where the company has a completely flat hierarchy and where we share similar values.


Closing note

Work is fun and learning is enjoyable when we love what we do and are amongst friends with similar goals and aspirations.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and I hope it was interesting. Looking forward to write more and share such experiences in future posts.

Many thanks to Sandro, Tomaz, Alex, Franzi and David for all the feedback provided for this blog post.


Why not build #OpenJDK 9 using #Docker ? – Part 2 of 2

…continuing from Why not build #OpenJDK 9 using #Docker ? – Part 1 of 2.

I ran into a number of issues and you can see from my commits, I pulled myself out of it, but to run this Dockerfile from the command-line I used this instruction:

$ docker build -t neomatrix369/openjdk9 .

you can also do it using the below if you have not set your permissions:

$ sudo docker build -t neomatrix369/openjdk9 .

and get the below (summarised) output:

Sending build context to Docker daemon 3.072 kB
Sending build context to Docker daemon 
Step 0 : FROM phusion/baseimage:latest
 ---> 5a14c1498ff4
Step 1 : MAINTAINER Mani Sarkar (from @adoptopenjdk)
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 95e30b7f52b9
Step 2 : RUN apt-get update &&   apt-get install -y     libxt-dev zip pkg-config libX11-dev libxext-dev     libxrender-dev libxtst-dev libasound2-dev libcups2-dev libfreetype6-dev &&   rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 1ea3bbb15c2d
Step 3 : RUN apt-get update
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 6c3938f4d23d
Step 4 : RUN apt-get install -y mercurial ca-certificates-java build-essential
 ---> Using cache
 ---> e3f99b5a3bd3
Step 5 : RUN cd /tmp &&   hg clone openjdk9 &&   cd openjdk9 &&   sh ./
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 26cfaf16b9fa
Step 6 : RUN apt-get install -y wget &&   wget --no-check-certificate --header "Cookie: oraclelicense=accept-securebackup-cookie"
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 696889250fed
Step 7 : RUN tar zxvf jdk-8u45-linux-x64.tar.gz -C /opt
 ---> Using cache
 ---> c25cc9201c1b
Step 8 : RUN cd /tmp/openjdk9 &&   bash ./configure --with-cacerts-file=/etc/ssl/certs/java/cacerts --with-boot-jdk=/opt/jdk1.8.0_45
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 4e425de379e6
Step 9 : RUN cd /tmp/openjdk9 &&   make clean images
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 2d9e17c870be
Step 10 : RUN cd /tmp/openjdk9 &&   cp -a build/linux-x86_64-normal-server-release/images/jdk     /opt/openjdk9
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 9250fac9b500
Step 11 : RUN cd /tmp/openjdk9 &&   find /opt/openjdk9 -type f -exec chmod a+r {} + &&   find /opt/openjdk9 -type d -exec chmod a+rx {} +
 ---> Using cache
 ---> d0c597d045d4
Step 12 : ENV PATH /opt/openjdk9/bin:$PATH
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 3965c3e47855
Step 13 : ENV JAVA_HOME /opt/openjdk9
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 5877e8efd939
Successfully built 5877e8efd939

The above action creates an image which is stored in your local repository (use docker images to enlist the images in the repo). If you want to load the image into a container, and access the files it has built or see anything else, do the below:

$ sudo docker run -it --name openjdk9 neomatrix369/openjdk9 /bin/bash

this will take you to a bash prompt into the container and you can run any of your linux commands and access the file system.

Explaining docker run

$ sudo docker run -it --name openjdk9 neomatrix369/openjdk9 java -version

will show you this

openjdk version "1.9.0-internal"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 1.9.0-internal-_2015_06_04_06_46-b00)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 1.9.0-internal-_2015_06_04_06_46-b00, mixed mode)

Here’s a breakdown of the docker run command:

docker run The command to create and start a new Docker container.
-it To run in interactive mode, so you can see the after running the container.
neomatrix369/openjdk9 This is a reference to the image tag by name (which we created above).
java -version Runs the java command asking its version, inside the containing, which is assisted by the two environment variables PATH and JAVA_HOME which was set in the Dockerfile above.


You might have noticed I grouped very specific instructions with each step, especially the RUN commands, its because, each time I got one of these wrong, it would re-execute the step again, including the steps that ran fine and didn’t need re-executing. Not only is this unnecessary its not using our resources efficiently which is what Docker brings us. So any addition, edition or deletion to any step will only result in that step being executed, and not the other steps that are fine.

So one of the best practises is to keep the steps granular enough and pre-load files and data beforehand and give it to docker. It has amazing caching and archiving mechanisms built in.

Save our work

As we know if we do not save the container into the image, our changes are lost.

If I didn’t use the docker build command I used earlier I could have, after the build process was completed and image created, used the below command:

$ sudo docker commit [sha of the image] neomatrix369/openjdk9

Sharing your docker image on Docker hub

Once you are happy with your changes, and want to share it with community at large, do the below:

$ sudo docker push neomatrix369/openjdk9

and you will see these depending on which of your layers have been found in the repo and which ones are new (this one is an example snapshot of the process):

The push refers to a repository [neomatrix369/openjdk9] (len: 1)
5877e8efd939: Image already exists 
3965c3e47855: Image already exists 
d0c597d045d4: Image already exists 
9250fac9b500: Image already exists 
2d9e17c870be: Buffering to Disk

There is plenty of room for development and improvement of this Docker script. So happy hacking and would love to hear your feedback or contributions from you.

BIG Thanks

Big thanks to the below two who proof-read my post and added value to it, whilst enjoying the #Software #Craftsmanship developer community (organised and supported by @LSCC):
Oliver Nautsch – @ollispieps (JUG Switzerland)
Amir Bazazi (@Codurance) – @amirbazazi

Special thanks to Roberto Cortez (@radcortez) for your Docker posts, these inspired and helped me write my first Docker post.


[1] Docker
[2] Get into Docker – A Guide for Total Newbies
[3] Docker for Total Newbies Part 2: Distribute Your Applications with Docker Images
[4] Docker posts on Voxxed
[5] OpenJDK
[6] Building OpenJDK
[7] Building OpenJDK on Linux, MacOs and Windows
[8] Virtual Machines (OpenJDK)
[9] Build your own OpenJDK
[10] Vagrant script (OpenJDK)
[11] YOUR DOCKER IMAGE MIGHT BE BROKEN without you knowing it
[12] Dockerfile on github
[13] Adopt OpenJDK: Getting Started Kit
[14] London Java Community

Why not build #OpenJDK 9 using #Docker ? – Part 1 of 2


I think I have joined the Docker [1] party a bit late but that means by now everyone knows what Docker is and all the other basic fundamentals which I can very well skip, but if you are still interested, please check these posts Get into Docker – A Guide for Total Newbies [2] and Docker for Total Newbies Part 2: Distribute Your Applications with Docker Images [3]. And if you still want to know more about this widely spoken topic, check out these Docker posts on Voxxed [4].

Why ?

Since everyone has been doing some sort of provisioning or spinning up of dev or pre-prod or test environments using Docker [1] I decided to do the same but with my favourite project i.e. OpenJDK [5].

So far you can natively build OpenJDK [6] across Linux, MacOs and Windows [7], or do the same things via virtual machines or vagrant instances, see more on then via these resources Virtual Machines, [8] Build your own OpenJDK [9] and this vagrant script [10]. All part of the Adopt OpenJDK initiative lead by London Java Community [14] and supported by JUGs all over the world.


Most parts of post is for those using Linux distributions (this one was created on Ubuntu 14.04). Linux, MacOS and Windows users please refer to Docker‘s  Linux, MacOS and Windows instructions respectively.

Hints: MacOS and Windows users will need to install Boot2Docker and remember to run the below two commands (and check your Docker host environment variables):

$ boot2docker init
$ boot2docker up 
$ boot2docker shellinit 

For the MacOS, if the above throw FATA[…] error messages, please try the below:

$ sudo boot2docker init
$ sudo boot2docker up 
$ sudo boot2docker shellinit 

For rest of the details please refer to the links provided above. Once you have the above in place for the Windows or MacOS platform, by merely executing the Dockerfile using the docker build and docker run commands you can create / update a container and run it respectively.

*** Please refer to the above links and ensure Docker works for you for the above platforms – try out tutorials or steps proving that Docker run as expected before proceeding further. ***

Building OpenJDK 9 using Docker

Now I will show you how to do the same things as mentioned above using Docker.

So I read the first two resource I shared so far (and wrote the last ones). So lets get started, and I’m going to walk you through what the Dockerfile looks like, as I take you through each section of the Dockerfile code.

*** Please note the steps below are not meant to be executed on your command prompty, they form an integral part of the Dockerfile which you can download from here at the end of this post. ***

You have noticed unlike everyone else I have chosen a different OS image i.e. phusion/baseimage, why? Read YOUR DOCKER IMAGE MIGHT BE BROKEN without you knowing it [11], to learn more about it.

FROM phusion/baseimage:latest

Each of the RUN steps below when executed becomes a Docker layer in isolation and gets assigned a SHA like this i.e. 95e30b7f52b9.

  apt-get update && \
  apt-get install -y \
    libxt-dev zip pkg-config libX11-dev libxext-dev \
    libxrender-dev libxtst-dev libasound2-dev libcups2-dev libfreetype6-dev && \
  rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*

The base image is updated and a number of dependencies are installed i.e. Mercurial (hg) and build-essential.

  apt-get update && \
  apt-get install -y mercurial ca-certificates-java build-essential

Clone the OpenJDK 9 sources and download the latest sources from mercurial. You will notice that each of these steps are prefixed by this line cd /tmp &&, this is because each instruction is run in its own layer, as if it does not remember where it was when the previous instruction was run. Nothing to worry about, all your changes are still intact in the container.

  cd /tmp && \
  hg clone openjdk9 && \
  cd openjdk9 && \
  sh ./

Install only what you need when you need them, see below I downloaded wget and then the jdk binary. I also learnt how to use wget by passing the necessary params and headers to make the server give us the binary we request. Finally un-tar the file using the famous tar command.

  apt-get install -y wget && \
  wget --no-check-certificate --header "Cookie: oraclelicense=accept-securebackup-cookie" \

  tar zxvf jdk-8u45-linux-x64.tar.gz -C /opt

Run configure with the famous –with-boot-jdk=/opt/jdk1.8.0_45 to set the bootstrap jdk to point to jdk1.8.0_45.

  cd /tmp/openjdk9 && \
  bash ./configure --with-cacerts-file=/etc/ssl/certs/java/cacerts --with-boot-jdk=/opt/jdk1.8.0_45

Now run the most important command:

RUN \  
  cd /tmp/openjdk9 && \
  make clean images

Once the build is successful, the artefacts i.e. jdk and jre images are created in the build folder.

RUN \  
  cd /tmp/openjdk9 && \
  cp -a build/linux-x86_64-normal-server-release/images/jdk \

Below are some chmod ceremonies across the files and directories in the openjdk9 folder.

RUN \  
  cd /tmp/openjdk9 && \
  find /opt/openjdk9 -type f -exec chmod a+r {} + && \
  find /opt/openjdk9 -type d -exec chmod a+rx {} +

Two environment variable i.e. PATH and JAVA_HOME are created with the respective values assigned to them.

ENV PATH /opt/openjdk9/bin:$PATH
ENV JAVA_HOME /opt/openjdk9

You can find the entire source for the entire Dockerfile on github [12].

…more of this in the next post, Why not build #OpenJDK 9 using #Docker ? – Part 2 of 2, we will use the docker build, docker run commands and some more docker stuff.

What is being a good developer? How can we work to become better?


  • future of the Java ecosystem
  • JavaSE, Java EE workshops at Devoxx UK 2015
  • OpenJDK and JSRs
  • extraordinary developers
  • hands-on sessions, hackdays and panel
  • learn, collaborate and share
  • developer communities, JUG leaders, and corporate participations
  • thought leaders and tomorrow’s leaders of Java related topics
  • agenda, costs, tickets and discount codes

The Adopt team are running workshops at Devoxx UK next month that will help to answer the questions posed above. Why should you get along to a workshop? Well, here’s an imagined conversation between you and the Adopt team to explain. The Adopt Team are an ever growing community from various parts of the developer community, mainly the JUGs worldwide, members of the JCP, developers, evangelists and technical representatives of various companies supporting and extending the Java ecosystem via the JCP, Adopt-a-JSR  and Adopt OpenJDK programs.

You: I hear that there are a number of workshops going to be held during the first day of Devoxx UK 2015. What are these?

Adopt team: Yes, you heard right, we have a whole day (Wednesday) dedicated to it. In brief, the adopt team at Devoxx UK this year is comprised of experienced developers and leaders of various Java SE and Java EE topics i.e. OpenJDK, and a number of JSRs. These include members of the JCP as well. The topics range from learning how to build OpenJDK, working with devops tools, quality analysis tools, contributing and working with JSRs (guided by spec leads of the respective JSRs). Learning how to run a hackday if you want to start your own community where you are. And towards the end of the session you can get answers to the questions you have been pondering upon before or at the conference.

Have a look at the agenda to find out more.

You: Apart from OpenJDK, can you name some JSRs we will be involved with?

Adopt team: Good questions. We will have amongst us spec leads from the various JSRs:

  • JSR 363, Units of Measurement API – Leonardo Lima
  • JSR JSR 365, CDI 2.0 – Antoine Sabot-Durand
  • Java EE 8, and some of the proposed component JSRs, including JSR 371 MVC, the Security JSR, and JMS – David Delabassee

You: I’m a busy person, and there’s lots on at Devoxx. Why would I spend time at these workshops rather than doing something else? What do I gain from it?

Adopt team: Depending the workshop you attend you attend and participate in, the benefits can be any or all of these:

  • a great opportunity to feedback on tomorrow’s technology
  • learn and contribute to these technologies even before they are released
  • contributing to the future of the Java / Java platform
  • learn how to build your own Java / JVM platform
  • learn new technologies and improve your confidence,; including automation, code-coverage, testing technologies etc.
  • be able to make contact with and talk to the developers who are leading one or more of the technologies
  • be able to share with your own local user group / community the things you learn in the workshop
  • become a part of the adopt community and keep in touch about current and future developments, hackdays and other workshops

Contributions can be in any form, from as simple as speaking about it to another colleague, writing a post about it, or even mentioning it on a relevant mailing list.

You: So who is this aimed at? Who is your target audience?

Adopt team: Our primary goal is to propagate the know-how and experience various Java User Group leaders all across the globe, but we see everyone else benefiting from it as well: students, professionals, tech leads, devops, trainers, experts, etc…

You: What if my company wishes to be involved? Can you give me examples of companies who are already involved in this program?

Adopt team: Yes, companies, user groups, dev communities are all welcome. A number of companies are involved with the adoption program including: Oracle, IBM, RedHat, SAP, Google, Twitter, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, among many others.

You: Can I or my company make contributions to any of the projects?

Adopt team: Yes, of course, that’s the whole point. One of the reasons is not just spread awareness and know-how of the upcoming technologies in the Java/JVM world but also to show how you can do it yourself. The topics and subtopics are numerous and this is an opportunity to pick one and lead it. You can drive these technologies with the help other community members, helping move your vision forward. Come along to a workshop to find out more!

You: So how much more does it cost me or my company if I have to attend these workshops?

Adopt team: Have a look at the ticket prices for the university days and the combi-tickets. You can also take advantage of special discount codes from us to get further discounts on the final ticket prices (ranging from 10 to 20%).

You:  What do we take along with us to be able to participate in the workshops ?

Adopt team: Bring along a laptop and a fresh mind to absorb all the knowledge and experience we have to share.

You: I hear this theme ‘The Extraordinary…. what is it about, tell me more” Why is this post so titled?

Adopt team: Another good question: to know more about the theme have a look at this

Good developers do what every developer does and more. They come to conferences like Devoxx, attend local dev events and talks, participate in workshops similar to the ones this post speaks about and then go out and share many of those things with other fellow developers in the form of blog posts, code snippets or even local community presentations.

You: What about those who can’t get to the workshop. How can they find out more and get involved?

Adopt team: These three websites are a great starting point to get to know more about the adopt programs:, and, but if you are based in London, the LJC organises a hackday every month, see, in the past developers from outside London and even outside the UK have visited the day-long hackdays.

You:  So tell me how did this come about? Who do you credit the initiative to?

Adopt team: Nice question: credit must go to where it is due. Thanks to the support from the JCP organisation i.e. Heather VanCura and Mark Hazell for making it happen at Devoxx UK this year. Not forgetting that any event like this one isn’t possible without the help of local and worldwide developer communities, with the likes of London Java Community (@LJCJug), continuously supporting good developer endeavours.

You: How to get the code?

Adopt team: That’s an important question, get in touch with Heather VanCura ( or Mark Hazell ( and they should help you sort out a discount code for you, but hurry are they will get exhausted soon.

SoCrates UK 2013 – my experiences!

Refactoring TDD habits

It’s about 15:21 on 19th September, a group of us from the London Software Craftsmanship Community gathered to leave for SoCrates UK 2013. We all gathered in the same and luckily found empty seats next to each other.

Amongst a lot of jokes, we suggested lets do a small dojo in the two hours we will be travelling. Wifi is free but terrible, on this train – nevertheless we tethered our phones and enabled Wifi on our laptops to make the most of the bandwidth.

This was also about the time when others sitting around me took notice of the desktop wallpaper, it looked something like this:

13 habits of good TDD programming

13 habits of good TDD programming

One thing lead to another, and before we knew, we were going through the above list of habits – some found the habits difficult to remember, others found duplicates and overlaps. There was this tendency that, this is a big list to remember when doing TDD!

So like developers we said we can “refactor” these habits into something more meaningful, maybe even organise them as per our thinking process.

From this conversation the below list was born:

12 habits to good TDD programming:
  1) Write the assertion first and work backwards
  2) Test should test one thing only
  3) See the test fail
  4) Write the simplest code to pass the test
  5) Refactor to remove duplications
  6) Don’t refactor with failing test(s)
  7) Write meaningful tests
  8) Triangulate
  9) Keep your test and model code separate (except when practising TDD-as-if-you-meant-it)
10) Isolate your tests
11) Organise your tests to reflect model code
12) Maintain your tests

You can notice already that the 13…habits shrunk to 12 habits, and their order changed in comparison to the original.

Then @Frankie mentions the difference between Test-first development and Test driven development, no one claimed to know it, but suggested the below:

Test-first development
– you start the development with tests, and change the tests if goal is not achieved via model (domain) code. – No guidelines about design, flexible approach.

Test driven development
– test drives the model code, you never change the test, only model code to reflect any changes that does not satisfy the tests! Guided by design.
Model code = production code or implementation, domain (better term)

Soon we arrived at Moreton-in-Marsh and our focussed changed to getting a taxi to the venue.

I continued contemplating with the idea of collaborating with other developers and ironing our this list – so it can be helpful at the least.

I met @gonsalo and @sandromancuso and ran the idea by them and they thought it was certainly an idea to present and get others involved to see what the final outcome could be.

Next morning everyone was proposing their presentations at the “Open Session”, and I took the chance of presenting – Refactoring TDD habits… in the Cheltham Loft room in the house called Coach at the Cotwold estate!

30 minutes into the conversation and we already attracted discussions between @sleepyfox and @sandromancuso, we did try to persuade them to avoid tangenting from our core topic of discussion.

@sandromancuso also shared with us one of the rules of simple design – as these have evolved over time, these sorta look like this on the flip chart he scribbled on:

4 rules of simple design

4 rules of simple design (thanks @racheldavies for taking this pic at the event, I have cropped it to fit it in here)

– passes all tests
– minimises duplication
– maximises clarity (clear, expressive, consistent)
– has fewer elements

The idea is that all your actions and practises could use these as guiding light to keep on track.

An hour and few minutes later and we have refactored and cleansed the original 13 habits down to 12 habits – reshuffled and rejuvenated. They may not be perfect but close (Kent Beck: use ‘perfect’ as a verb, not a noun – its a journey not a destination!

12 habits of good TDD programming

I sincerely hope that these list of habits do cover the essence of the principles, values and practises of TDD programming.

Prepare yourself with things you should or should not do, and then perform the Red-Green-Refactor actions to satisfy the TDD process.

The things some of the attendees not like is the way of the first list of habits were worded:

  • definition of the word ‘model’ or ‘domain’
  • use of the term duplication
  • the habits being assigned with numbers
  • use of the term assert – one assert per test or groups of assert per logical test

I also brought up the topic of the difference between Test-first development and Test driven development – and there were disagreements about it amongst the attendees, on the meanings of the definition itself. Please share with me your input!

Back to the final list of habits, @CarlosBle brought up a very valid point that some of the habits on the list might be time-based rather than relevant all the time – they were not linear but appear and disappear from the list depending on the current task in hand. We agreed we would sit together and work it out, but @sleepyfox was ahead of us and kindly drew this flow / state diagram on the flip chart that illustrated the list of habits but in a diagrammatic format:

Flow diagram of TDD habits

State/flow diagram of TDD habits (my apologies if its not clear, sometime down the line one of us could come up with a digital version of the state/flow diagram)

@CarlosBle – please feel free to come up with your time-based / non-linear list and share it with us when you get a chance.

Although we got a lot out of the session with discussions on various topics, we haven’t covered everything and finished discussing everything!

I’m more of the idea, that we could try to look at the above habits as trigger points (practical and pragmatic use) to make us do the right things when we are writing code with the intention of writing good code…clean code…quality code…whatever the terminology be in your environment.

At the end of the day, good practises become habitual only when practised repeatedly, with focus and intent.

Please do provide constructive criticism, if any, such feedback to the above are very welcome as they help improve the quality of the post!

Thanks to @sandromancuso & @sleepfox for helping and participating during my session. Big thanks to Socrates UK – its host, facilitators, organisors and sponsors for making this event happen!

DevoxxUK 2013 aware-ne·ces·si·ty !

You are here because you love and care about software and have a passion for Java/JVM and Web technologies! You are familiar with software, smart devices or even robotics and when you see one you want to take it home! – You are an an inhabitant of planet DevoxxUK !

Post a comment at the bottom of the blog, saying what DevoxxUK means to you and why you are part of it, for e.g.:
– You have been to Devoxx conferences before.
– You are a speaker / presenter at DevoxxUK (I’ll add a speaker badge to your message banner)
– You have passion and love for technology and want to share it with other like minded folks
– You are facilitating the DevoxxUK event
– You may even be a sponsor to the event
– Or you can’t make it and sorry about it, but given a chance you would love to come (maybe next year)!
– Or maybe even wanting to say “Hi” and encourage others to participate in the event!

Just post a message similar to one(s) below with your message, your name, your twitter handle, blog link, a link to your photo (if available), or anything relevant you wish to share with the rest of the community – including details enlisted above. Selected shout-outs will appear in the body of the blog, others will remain in the comments section! Shout-outs will be posted and shared with community far and wide!

Shout-outs that stand-out will be highlighted and given focus!

Follow DevoxxUK on twitter at @DevoxxUK.

DevoxxUK Newsletters!
Newsletter #10 (March 19th)
Newsletter #9 (March 13th) ——– Newsletter #8 (March 7th)
Newsletter #7 (February 26th) ——– Newsletter #6 (February 19th)
Newsletter #5 (February 13th) ——– Newsletter #4 (February 5th)
Newsletter #3 (January 29th) ——– Newsletter #2 (January 22nd)
Newsletter #1 (January 8th)

DevoxxUK full schedule is out! —- Get your ticket today!

Adopt OpenJDK and Adopt-a-JSR events and speakers at DevoxxUK 2013 – Bring your Java queries realted to JSRs, the JCP, the OpenJDK, excetera to these events.

Adopt OpenJDK


Speakers / Presenters

#DevoxxUK Shout-outs!



Devoxx UK is a great opportunity for the London Java Community (and beyond) to learn, network and get inspired during this event. It’s also a very nice extension to the already sold out Devoxx Belgium and France editions.

Attending a conference by developers for developers (at a very democratic price) can really bring value to your career. Of course the things you learn and pick up but more importantly the peer-to-peer contacts & conversations often inspire you to take your ideas (and even your code) to the next level.

Enjoy our first Devoxx UK edition.

— Stephan Janssen (@Stephan007) * java developer * BeJUG, Devoxx, Parleys and Playpass + Java Champion * Belgium

We are really looking forward to DevoxxUK. Great to get the conference over here and for the LJC to have such a big part in it.

At RecWorks we are always encouraging developers to engage with the community, learn more and get involved in what’s going on. DevoxxUK seems a perfect place to do that and at a price point that is open to everyone. See you at the LJC stand!

— Barry Cranford (@bcrecworks) * Founder, leader, organiser, community herder * London Java Community JUG (LJC JUG): @ljcjug, Graduate Developers Community: @GDCldn, RecWorks: @RecWorks, Samantha Hepburn: @SHRecWorks * London

European Platinum Partners

I have been to several Devoxx conferences (in Belgium) and to several other conferences all over Europe as well. I’m even going to be a speaker at Devoxx UK this year. So if you’re interested in creating Word/Excel documents with Java, come to my quickie. I’m also going to be co-host of the Duchess Women in IT BoF and maybe you’ll find me on a panel about teaching kids how to code.
— Linda van der Pal (@DuchessFounder) * java developer, leader, speaker * Belgium

Needless to say, I’m obviously very excited about Devoxx UK! Devoxx has always been the premier Java conference in Europe and it’s a fantastic opportunity for Londoners to get a piece of that. I’m particularly excited about some of the deep dive and topical talks on Java and Cloud security, and the Hands on Labs for Java EE7 and Java 8 are also major highlights for me. Get your ticket today!

ImSpeakingAtDevoxxUK2— Martijn Verburg (@karianna) * The Diabolical Developer, CTO – jClarity, London JUG co-leader (LJC), Speaker, Author, Javaranch Mod, PCGen & Adopt OpenJDK / A-JSR Cat herder, Java Champion, Cat herder 😉 * London

DevoxxUK is going to be my first proper software conference where I’m involved with the top brass (if I may) and their supporters, from world of developers ! The two days of DevoxxUK will be filled with excitement, throwing a lot of attention on technologies that developers are passionate about, that make them proud and that they hold close to their hearts ! Remember it is an event for developers by developers, for the community by the community. In the last so many years, the age range of developers have breached its limits again-and-again – today we have kids (Devoxx 4 Kids) as young as 10 are being introduced to robotics, smart devices and programming. But lets not forget the veterans of the software industry in their 50s and 60s who have left behind system-level and functional languages for us to cherish! DevoxxUK is hosting and welcoming many such inhabitants from a growing and maturing planet of developers and creators of our past, present and future!

— mani (@theNeomatrix369) * blog * #java developer * Agile (TDD, BDD), Bash, full of innovative ideas, thinker, creator! Blogger! LJC & LSCC member. LJC Advocate (@adoptopenjdk and @adoptajsr programs), MutabilityDetector! * london

Silver Partner

My very first software conference was LJC Conf 2012 and ever since then I have been bitten by the bug! Devoxx UK is a fantastic opportunity to learn about all the latest technologies and pick the brains of some of the greatest developers in our industry. I’m extremely excited and I simply can’t wait 😀


— Edward Yue Shung Wong (@arkangelofkaos) * passionate java developer * London

Great event!!!! I would like to go there this year!!!

— Emanuel Cordeiro (@emanuelcordeiro) * blog * java developer * CEJUG member * Brazil ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The first time I heard about DevoxxUK was during Devoxx 2012 in Belgium. I’ve got immediately excited! No doubt that it´s going to be a great edition! I will attend on behalf of CEJUG ( and my goal, besides attending all those great conference sessions, is to get in touch with AdoptOpenJDK and AdoptaJSR folks! Those guys are doing a great job by moving Java forward! CEJUG Community heavily supports these initiatives!

— Hildeberto Mendonca (@htmfilho) * java developer * CEJUG member * Brazil


Grande Evento, uma oportunidade para todos aqueles que amam tecnologia! A comunidade CEJUG estará bem representado com Hildeberto. (Great Event, an opportunity for all those who love technology! The CEJUG community will be well represented by Hildeberto.)

— Jardel Rodrigues (@JardelJava) * java developer * CEJUG member * Brazil


Yes CEJUG has the passion for java / JVM and Web technologies ! Manda Bala DevoxxUK (“Go go go DevoxxUK“) !!!

— Hélio Frota (@hf_metal) * enthusiastic java developer * CEJUG leader * Brazil


Vamos que vamos porque os cães ladram mas a caravana não para (PH) [“Come on everyone let’s go !”]

— Eduardo Vieira (@dudurct) * sysadmin * CEJUG * Brazil


É uma excelente oportunidade para a nossa comunidade (CEJUG) absorver um conteúdo tão bem elaborado para a rotina atual e corrida de um desenvolvedor. Desejo que os participantes aproveitem ao máximo o partilhar dos “Caras do desenvolvimento” e estreitem laços entre outros desenvolvedores de uma forma qualitativa e eficaz.
De fato é um evento da comunidade para a comunidade!
Ao infinito… e a Londres! (Rsrs)

It is an excellent opportunity for our community (CEJUG) to absorb content as well prepare for the development of the future of a developer. I wish the participants make the most of the presence of you “developers” and establish closer links between other developers in a qualitative and effective manner.
In fact it is a community event for the community!
To infinity … and London! (Lol)

— Israel Bruno (@ibmarques) * java developer * CEJUG * Brazil

Bronze Partners

I am so exited to know about this great conference, I was looking forward to participate in this year Devoxx UK, but I participated in Devoxx France but I have submitted lately and also for my bad chance it only has a limited slots for English sessions.

This conference gather the top quality speakers, some of them I know well, specially for their high activity and professionalization in JCP as we worked together in adopt-a-JSR program. Mani Sarkar, Somay, Hildeberto Mendonca, Arun Gupta, Adam Bien and Martijn Verburg.

I am looking forward to speak at next year Devoxx UK 2014 😉

— Mohamed Taman (@_tamanm) * systems architect * java team leader * MoroccoJUG * Morocco

ImSpeakingAtDevoxxUK4 Being part of Devoxx UK is very important to me. Not every developer works for a company that can afford to send them on expensive overseas or local conferences. And that’s where Devoxx is different, we strongly believe in catering to and the support of the local communities and want to offer a real value for money experience in the heart of London – home to 1000s of developers. Naturally I’m also really excited by the content; it’s one thing to be able to read things in blogs, it’s another to have a dynamic and engaging speaker serve up novel or challenging ideas like a pro at Wimbledon. So make sure you get a ticket and grab a seat in the front row!

— James McGivern (Twitter Id pending!) * mathematician turned programmer, software engineer * London

====>> Vacant space to be filled by you <<<====
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— xxx (@xxxxx) * yyyy zzzzz * ppppp

====>> Vacant space to be filled by you <<<====
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— xxx (@xxxxx) * yyyy zzzzz * ppppp




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