Practical Best Programming with Steven Feuerstein
Today, I attended a free, half day presentation given by Steven Feuerstein. Steven stopped for a day in Slovenia on his way from Zagreb to Bratislava. Event was sponsored by Quest (MRI d.o.o) as part of the promotion of their new tool, called Code Tester for Oracle.
The last time I had a chance to listen to his presentation was 10 years ago, at EOUG in Amsterdam. Back then, he was already a well known for his in-depth PL/SQL knowledge, writing skills and his amusing presentation style. Today, it seems to me, that he is still as enthusiastic about PL/SQL as he was ten years ago, not to mention that he is still one of the best technical speakers that I know of. You simply can’t be bored while listening to him, even if you don’t have a clue about the PL/SQL. Wonderful.
The main topic was test driven development, a trend in software development in the recent years, that we all hear/read about it quite often, but rarely practice it. Why? Because it’s usually hard to do it right. Right? In reality our beloved users test our code. ;-)
Steven mentioned Gartner group reasearch that indicate that for every line of code you have to write ten lines of test code. Ah, yes – don’t forget that test code need testing too ;-), so you really have to add some overhead to that figure. Who has time to do that?
If you’re PL/SQL developer trying to write PL/SQL test code first (personally, I don’t know anyone!) and real code second, you should really give it a try and test out the Code tester for Oracle (Steven himself devoted last two years of his time to this project!). Don’t take this as a cheap marketing plug from my part, it’s just that I have a feeling that Quest has a really unique tool, unmatched on the market and it’s not expensive (580€/developer at present, with 30% discount if ordered before September 25th, 2007)).
If you’re from Slovenia (or nearby), mark the December 3th-4th, 2007 – Steven will be back, with a two day seminar.
Now, I just want to write down some useful links if you wish to read the presentation material, play a game of SET etc.:
- if you’re existing Toad user, bookmark Toad World, even if you’re not, you should at least check Steven Fuerenstein page at ToadWorld
- you can find at ToadWorld.com/SF all his presentation material (including the one I attended today)
- Steven offers his numerous scripts for free at http://oracleplsqlprogramming.com/downloads/demo.zip.
- You can freely use scripts/code and presentation material for your own internal training and application development.
- Steven is suggesting regularly playing a SET game (http://www.setgame.com/set/puzzle_frame.htm), as often as you can, and if at all possible on the company time. If you’re caught, just tell the boss that you’re trying to become a better PL/SQL programmer. And frankly speaking, I have a feeling that I should really play this game 5-10 years ago, extensively :-)
- another recommended game by Steven is Mastermind
- are you trying to systematize error management in PL/SQL? Make sure you check freeware http://www.oracleprogramming.com/downloads/qem.zip
- another freeware, if you wish to hide your tables behind the table API visit http://www.qcgu.net