All Posts in XI To Eye

September 6, 2013 - No Comments!

Help, My Test Is Failing: XI to Eye

xitoeyeHere's the situation. You've written your tests. You run your test suite one last time before checking in, and just when you think you are done, you see the big red F indicating test failure.

"Why Me?" you ask. "What now?"

This video discusses strategies for discovering what may have made your test fail, and for exploring what happens during the test run. If you take nothing else away from this video, learn that sometime in the next six months, there's a good chance that git bisect will save you.

If you're going to be at WindyCityRails this year, be sure to catch my talk "Rails vs. Object-Oriented Design," Fri, Sept 13, at 9am. You can also check out my books Master Space and Time With JavaScript and Trust-Driven Development.

April 23, 2013 - 1 comment.

Help, I’m Stuck! What Do I Test Next? XI to Eye

xitoeyeI was stuck. I didn't know what to do for the next XI to Eye video. Then I realized that being stuck is a topic.

What do you do when you are stuck in a TDD process? How do you decide where to start when testing? How can you pick what to text next? Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near? Some of these questions are answered in this video, which also talks about why tests are valuable, and how to approach using tests to drive your application design.

If you like this, you may be interested in Master Space and Time With JavaScript, which covers testing, among many other JavaScript topics.

April 12, 2013 - 1 comment.

Project Estimation: XI to Eye

xitoeyeEstimation. Every project does it. Most projects dread it. In this short video, we'll explain why estimating complexity is easier and more manageable than estimating time, and why points are actually a more concrete measure than hours.

For many web projects, a good estimation process is quick and simple: Time spent estimating is not time spent building. Time spent watching an XI to Eye video, on the other hand, is time well spent, indeed.

If you like this, I estimate that you might enjoy the e-book Master Space and Time with JavaScript.

April 5, 2013 - 1 comment.

Writing Readable Code: XI to Eye

xitoeyeAs web developers, we read code all day. Many of us have used style guides to govern how we structure our code. In this video, I talk about what guides the style guides -- basic principles about what makes code readable and why readable code is easier to work with.

You want your code to be expressive, consistent, logically structured, uniform, and manageable. Also, remember the D.A. rule. Want to know what that means? Watch the video.
If you liked this, I wouldn't stop you from checking out "Master Space and Time With JavaScript".

March 29, 2013 - 3 comments

Separating from the DOM, a JavaScript Story: XI to Eye


Most web applications have to talk to a third party API that they don’t control and didn’t write.  A good strategy for dealing with that library is to have all your access to the library go through a wrapper object.

When you use a wrapper object, you can define the wrapper object in terms that are semantically relevant to your application. It also becomes easier to test your application, because you can test it as far as the wrapper and then test the wrapper's interaction with the API separately.  It’s also easier to change the library if needed.

Those features are valuable in front-end development, too. However, many front-end applications intertwine with the DOM or with a library like jQuery in a way that can make the code extremely dependent on the specifics of one particular page setup.

In this XI to Eye video tutorial I walk through the process of treating jQuery and the DOM like a third-party library, and creating a wrapper object to manage interaction with the DOM.

March 22, 2013 - 3 comments

The Boring Software Manifesto: XI to Eye

xitoeyeOver the years the term "agile development " has been co-opted to mean something it's not.  "Agile" does not mean the ability to change things at the last minute. In fact, when it comes to development, this kind of excitement is overrated. Sometimes boring is best.

In this edition of XI to Eye I present "The Boring Software Manifesto." In a Boring Software Process, we use continual steady improvement, automated test suites, and an understanding that requirements change to prevent surprises, and allow us to focus on the problems that are actually interesting. That’s it. No heroic measures needed.

Watch this short five minute video to hear more about agile development, the way I see it.

March 15, 2013 - No Comments!

10 Things I hate About Your Conference Talk: XI to Eye

xitoeyeYou've been granted a stage, you've assembled your slides, but are you ready? Public speaking isn't easy, but it doesn't have to be that hard.

In his video "10 Things I Hate About Your Conference Talk," Senior Developer and Agile Coach Noel Rappin delivers the straight talk on how to grab (and hold) your audience's attention. He offers tips and suggestions that are useful for both developers and nontechnical presenters.

You can see Noel put his own skills to the test this spring. He'll be presenting at RailsConf in Portland, Oregon, April 29-May 2.

 "XI to Eye" is a recurring video series produced by Table XI offering the straight talk on everything from development to business strategy. You can find more Table XI videos on our YouTube channel here.