Thursday, December 30, 2010

Results of my 2010 New Year's resolution

My last new year's resolution of January 5th, 2010 had three main goals. Let's see how it all played out.

First goal was maintaining my blog, with an estimate of 285 posts for the year 2010. You can see that on this website there are not so many articles, but the fact is that I moved my technical writing at DZone. On, the Web Builder Zone of the site, I write 4 articles a week that I regularly link from here.
The counter is currently at 178 articles on DZone plus 140 here (the majority before the switch); some of them are link posts and they should not be counted in the statistics. We can say however that the first goal was more or less accomplished.

The second goal was obtaining my Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering at Politecnico di Milano, plus its mandatory English language certification. I exceeded exceptations and score 111/120 on my TOEFL exam and graduates with a final mark of 110 cum laude, which is the maximum grade in Italy. We can say this goal has been accomplished.

The third goal has not been met instead. I was aiming to continue development on a personal project, NakedPhp, and reach a stable release. However, two things got in the way. First, I started working on my thesis in February, and stopped working in PHP to code in Java and JavaScript for quite some time, until graduation in July. The day after graduation, I received a work offer from Allbus, where I still work part-time today.
Thus, I hadn't have any free time for open source coding this year, apart from my MockBuilder contribution to PHPUnit. I however still write a lot, and I hope my tutorials and articles make up for the time spent from other people on open source tools like Doctrine 2 that I use every day. I have failed this goal.

Tomorrow I think I'll write a new-new year's resolution. It's quite interesting to go back after an year, and see what you still value, and which assumptions are changed about what you should be doing in your life.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Weekly roundup: Xmas edition

It's Chistmas today and I hope you will have a nice day with your families in case you observe this holiday, without having to think about work and other commitments. To distract you from these issues, here are my articles published this week on DZone.

Practical PHP Testing Patterns: Test Discovery
Sitting on the couch
Practical PHP Testing Patterns: Test Discovery
What cooking can teach to a software developer

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Weekly roundup: switching to Chrome

It seems that my co-workers have infected me and I'm now using Google Chrome (actually Chromium, via the Ubuntu repositories) instead of the old-fashioned Firefox 3. I can't help it, it's far too fast and Firefox cannot keep up with it: I started with the Chrome for a Cause extension and I found out that it was probably a marketing stunt to push people to try Chrome, hoping that it would the better performance with respect to the other browsers will convince the average user to stay. At least on me, it worked.

Here are my original articles, published this week on DZone.
Practical PHP Testing Patterns: Test Runner
Technical Investment, or quality vs. time
Practical PHP Testing Patterns: Testcase Object
Real-life closures examples ...for real

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weekly roundup: going 64-bit

I finally have installed Ubuntu 10.04 in its 64-bit version on my work/home machine. After the usual initial tuning - uninstalling a lot of packages and installing back my favourite ones previously saved with Synaptic - it seems to work well. I had a 32 bit processor until May of this year, when the old box broke down; I started using (K)Ubuntu amd64 in the office in Siena and I see now no reason to going back: Dropbox, Teamviewer and Skype are examples of non-standard applications which now support the amd64 architecture.

Here are my articles published this week on DZone.
Practical PHP Testing Patterns: Assertion Message - explains how and when to write a custom message for assertions.
Double Dispatch: the next best thing with respect to Dependency Injection explores a little known technique for achieving collaboration between objects.
Practical PHP Testing Patterns: Testcase Class
Zend_Locale for the win shows a little bit of localization goodness built in Zend Framework.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Weekly roundup: snowing and snowing

It's been snowing in Italy for several days this week. Working remotely however meant that it has almost no effect on my day-to-day activities, only on my presence at the university. Being able to work from home, when you can, may result in substantial money and time savings.

Here are my original articles published this week.
Practical PHP Testing Patterns: Four Phase Test - Arrange, Act, sssert, and Teardown.
Date and time in PHP 5, which shows you how to use the PHP native class DateTime.
Practical PHP Testing Patterns: Assertion Method
Zend_Validate for the win walks you through Zend_Validate out-of-the-box utilities and chains of validators.