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Benjamin Oakes

Photo of Ben Oakes

Hi, I'm Ben Oakes and this is my geek blog. Currently, I'm a Ruby/JavaScript Developer at Liaison. Previously, I was a Developer at Continuity and Hedgeye, a Research Assistant in the Early Social Cognition Lab at Yale University and a student at the University of Iowa. I also organize TechCorridor.io, ICRuby, OpenHack Iowa City, and previously organized NewHaven.rb. I have an amazing wife named Danielle Oakes.

Giving Up on TDD

by Ben

Not just the tests. You have to DESIGN period. No matter what you are writing; whether a unit test, or an acceptance test, or production code, or a mock, or a stub, you have to DESIGN.

Source: Clean Coder Blog

Spotify engineering culture

by Ben

Here’s part 1 of short animated video describing our engineering culture. This is a journey in progress, not a journey completed, and there’s a lot of variation from squad to squad. So the stuff in the video isn’t all true for all squads all the time, but it appears to be mostly true…

Source: Spotify engineering culture (part 1) | Labs

Here’s part 2 of the animated video describing our engineering culture. Check out part 1 first if you haven’t already seen it! This is a journey in progress, not a journey completed, so the video is somewhere between “How Things Are Today” and “How We Want Things To Be”.

Source: Spotify engineering culture (part 2) | Labs

Definitely something to aspire to. I’ve done a number of the practices they describe and I can attest that they go a long way towards reducing friction.

Choose Boring Technology

by Ben

Let’s say every company gets about three innovation tokens. You can spend these however you want, but the supply is fixed for a long while. You might get a few more after you achieve a certain level of stability and maturity, but the general tendency is to overestimate the contents of your wallet. Clearly this model is approximate, but I think it helps.

If you choose to write your website in NodeJS, you just spent one of your innovation tokens. If you choose to use MongoDB, you just spent one of your innovation tokens. If you choose to use service discovery tech that’s existed for a year or less, you just spent one of your innovation tokens. If you choose to write your own database, oh god, you’re in trouble.

Source: Choose Boring Technology

The slides are good too. This isn’t to say Node.js or Ruby are bad choices, but rather “don’t add new tech just because it’s shiny.”