Daniel’s programming rants

Effective CLI (more productive than an IDE!)

TL;DR Modern Terminal with nice (Nerd) Fonts ZSH oh-my-zsh Modern Prompt with starship Modern CLI tools (fzf, ripgrep, bat, tmux, jq) Fast editor (Emacs, Neovim, Helix) Organize your dotfiles with GNU Stow The Unix shell/Command-Line Interface (CLI) is an ancient tool. Despite being around forever, the shell is highly customizable and with a good configuration, it is on par with modern graphical IDEs. Because it is configurable, you can make it truly your own, thereby surpassing out-of-the-box experience of IDEs....

January 16, 2023 · 11 min · Daniel Gerlach

Best Books For The Inquisitive Software Engineer

This article contains a list of my favorite books with a major impact on my Software Engineering career. The books are categorized in: Software Engineering Programming Brian Kernighan’s Books Modern Classics Learning Management and Leadership Unix Books From Stevens Software Engineering A Philosophy of Software Design by John Ousterhout Link to book A fabulous book to level up your software design skills as an experienced engineer. The book is full of great advice....

November 4, 2022 · 16 min · Daniel Gerlach

Software Engineering and Feedback Loops

Introduction Most of the breakthrough inventions in historic and modern Software Engineering are related to feedback loops. They are essential for productive software development, Developer Effectiveness and Developer Happiness. Remember the dawn of computing when computers were programmed with punch cards, programmers had to turn in their cards over night and the next day they got the result – often with a compile error 😞. Unlike back then, today’s computers compile whole codebases in seconds....

September 29, 2022 · 7 min · Daniel Gerlach

The Non-Productive Programmer (NPP)

We all know them: programmers with long term experience stuck on a low-level of our craft not corresponding to their quantity of experience. Great programmers are creative workers and problem-solvers and one of their most important traits is: never stop learning – but getting stuck in its own comfort zone and becoming reluctant to change is deeply wired into human nature (Humans are hard-wired to follow the path of least resistance)....

December 18, 2021 · 9 min · Daniel Gerlach

Reading List for the mindful Software Engineer

Abstractions are essential in order to build complex systems and keep complexity under control. Especially in software development we rely on many abstractions to make our life easier. Although good abstractions do not “leak”, it’s always helpful to understand the background and the details behind them. The following list (in chronological order) of classic computer science papers will give you insights of inventions of the last decades which are considered nowadays common sense....

September 10, 2021 · 11 min · Daniel Gerlach

Database Integration Tests with Docker Sidecar in Jenkins

More often than not, developers want to test the source code against a real database instead of Fakes or Test Doubles during a CI job in order to verify the code works as expected. Therefore a clean database is needed for every CI-job. One solution is to use a shared instance of the database in your existing test-environment which get cleaned before and after a job. But this suffers from being “shared” and you never can run multiple CI-jobs in parallel without jobs interfering with each other....

May 9, 2021 · 2 min · Daniel Gerlach

Emacs as RSS reader

Do you have a list of websites you visit regularly? Just to find out nothing new was added. This manual scraping is often a waste of time. Worse yet, scanning and filtering these websites for new interesting content is even more time consuming. Subscribing to an RSS feed can reduce your effort immensely. An RSS feed “pushes” the newest updates to subscribers and they will never miss updates. In order to make use of RSS feeds you need a “feed reader” or “feed aggregator”....

October 10, 2020 · 2 min · Daniel Gerlach

Product Management Quotes

I collected my favorite quotes about product management: We need teams of missionaries, not teams of mercenaries. Marty Cagan, Inspired It doesn’t matter how good your engineering team is if they are not given something worthwhile to build. Marty Cagan, Inspired The use of OKRs in most companies is a mess - because it’s a framework that originated in an empowered team environment - and most companies applying it today don’t have empowered teams....

October 8, 2020 · 3 min · Daniel Gerlach

Writing better Code

In Joel Spolsky’s blog post “The Joel Test: 12 Steps to better Code”, he describes a test composed of twelve simple yes-no questions. For a yes you get one point. 10 points are acceptable and 12 are perfect. If you have less than 10 points, you will get in trouble with your software – sooner or later. For a quick self-check, these are the original questions: Do you use source control?...

August 16, 2020 · 15 min · Daniel Gerlach

Google Testing Toilet Collection

In my one of my previous posts i wrote about Good Unit Tests. During my research i discovered the famous Google Testing on the Toilet posts which provide great advice. The Testing-on-the-Toilet articles are short (~3min reads) and give hands-on examples, ready to be applied immediately. Here are my favorites: Testing on the Toilet Tests Too DRY? Make Them DAMP! Exercise Service Call Contracts in Tests...

May 23, 2020 · 2 min · Daniel Gerlach