Tuesday, March 9, 2010

craftsman Swap – Day 5 at Relevance

It was the last day of an amazing week and I wanted to end it with a bang. I poked around after standup to see what people were doing and it was apparent that it was going to be a light day in the Relevance office. I think it was a coincidence, but this Friday found most of the Relevance staff traveling.

Fridays are special at Relevance as it gives everyone the opportunity to work on his or her own R & D projects with the stipulation that these projects are open source. Not only is this an awesome perk for their staff it is also great for their customers too. A lot of the tools they build on Fridays help them deliver better software faster and more reliably for their clients. If you’ve used any of the projects on this page, then you owe a nod to Open Source Friday at Relevance. Personally, I find their commitment to the community inspiring. I wish more companies found a way to give back like this (nudge, nudge, Obtiva).

This Friday began as every other day this week had, with the company stand-up. Nothing new to report there. After standup everyone broke to do their own thing, either as a pair or solo. I think it was split evenly between those working alone and those working as pairs.

I was attempting to sell Larry on my Clojure QuickCheck port when Brian Marick found his way into the conversation. For those who are unfamiliar, QuickCheck is a Haskell testing library where test data is automatically generated and assertions made against “properties” of a function under test. What I wanted to attempt was a BDD / QuickCheck Hybrid that supported both styles of testing.

Eventually it was just Brian and I working to bootstrap the framework. We’re both new-ish to Clojure and we ended up bumping our head on a rough edge or two. For instance, using a binding to override the behavior of the "=" function in Clojure is a really bad idea. And it is bad in a way that isn’t immediately obvious. I think we killed a good hour figuring that out. We didn’t make a ton of progress, but it was really great to finally work with Brian. He’s an exceptional guy.

My Open Source Friday ended too soon, as did my time at Relevance. The people are top notch, the culture is wonderful and the software they write is exceptional. Without a doubt, a most wonderful place to spend a week or a career. So, a huge Thank You to all the Relevance folks for having me out. Let’s do another one soon!


Anonymous said...

is this the tyler jennings from texas? northwest h.s., in particular?

Tyler Jennings said...

yeah you found me. Do you use Facebook? I only remember one Lauren from back then. I wonder if its you. http://www.facebook.com/ltjennings

Anonymous said...

ha, that's me. i totally googled you. i'm blocked from fb at work, but i'll look you up tonight when i get home. ha! this is awesome.