Get your FREE 30 page Developing SOLID Applications guide!

Creating services you won’t hate

The biggest complaint people have about object-oriented design is where they put all the “glue code” that ties together a bunch of objects and makes them work well. For many, this place is the controller, but as I’ve covered before, most of this logic belongs in the model. In fact, the model should be where all business logic resides. And yet, it can still seem difficult to figure out precisely how to manage all of these behaviors in one place and still follow the best practices of object-oriented design and development.

But there is a way to accomplish this that won’t make you crazy. It’s accomplished by making use of “services” – bits of code that act as the “glue code” for all the different objects that have to operate.

(more…)

The best way to improve team productivity

3488602921_23bfc81181_oGreen field projects are certainly rare, but they hold a certain appeal over developers. The ability to ignore all the mistakes of the past, and instead focus on new architecture, new ideas and new methodologies is enticing. And yet, every pile of legacy code spaghetti out there was once a green field project, filled with the majestic hopes and dreams of the engineers who worked on it. What happens?

I know many developers who believe that code simply gets worse over time, that technical debt accumulations are inevitable and that bad decisions haunt us forever. But the truth is that code doesn’t rust. And that means that our ability to make changes is directly related to how well we create the code in the first place.

(more…)

Documenting your code in a useful way

Few things bring out fights among programmers quite like a fight over documentation. There are many schools of thought, from “document every line” to “let the code self-document.” For the most part, PHP seems to have agreed on a generalized standard for documentation in code, called PHPDoc. Actual blocks of documentation are referred to as “Docblocks”*.

But within PHPDoc, there are many different styles and behaviors. And so, I have developed what I consider to be my “best tips” for documenting your code with Docblocks.

(more…)

The framework you learn doesn’t really matter.

Towards the end of my talk at phpDay in Verona, I was asked by two developers which framework I thought they should learn: Symfony or Laravel. I understand the pressure that developers feel like they’re under to learn a framework, and to somewhat “predict the future” by figuring out what is likely to be popular in PHP for the next few years.

But my answer to them wasn’t what they expected. I told them that if they were new to PHP, that they should focus on learning PHP.

(more…)

Unit testing is dead? Hardly.

Despite what His Majesty, David Heinemeier Hansson may have said, unit testing is by no means dead. And, in fact, system testing is no more a complete testing strategy than 100% test coverage with unit tests. Let me explain.

Test Driven Development (TDD) is a philosophy that asserts testing is so important that the tests should be written first, to emphasize the design of the code. The idea is that by writing a failing test, and then writing code that passes that test, you end up with an overall better architecture.

(more…)

The true business cost of technical debt

In many development shops where I’ve worked, there’s a consistent struggle between developers who want to “do it right” and management that wants to “just get it shipped.”

The problem stems from the pride developers feel in their work coming up against the business realities faced by managers and company leaders, who are focused on making sure everyone gets a paycheck each Friday.

(more…)

« Older Entries