As my last fall semester comes to a close, I wanted to write about an article on something pretty interesting I learned about in my software construction and design course.
On Stackify, Thorben Janssen wrote Design Patterns Explained–Adapter Pattern (with code examples). Overall, this article re-instilled how design patterns make it easier to write more well-structured and maintainable code.
I found it useful to see how Janssen discussed the two different versions of the class adapter; the class adapter pattern (which implements the adapter using inheritance) and the object adapter pattern (which uses composition to reference an instance of the wrapped class within it).
Similar to how we learned the concept in class, something I appreciated is the “real-life” example or comparison used to describe the physical adapters we use when traveling. When we are traveling and do not have compatible power sockets, we must find a way to be able to charge our use our devices without having to change the whole make of it. A way of doing so is by using adapters; which does not change the overall product or device, it just allows you to be able to plug it in.
An situational example that I can think of when explaining adapters is if you have ever been zip-lining or done a ropes course (like Go Ape) where you are attached to a harness. When you are transferring from one line to another, you can use a metal contraption which helps guide you while connecting and disconnecting from paths. That metal contraption serves as an adapter, not changing what you are but allowing you to use something.
I agree with what message Janssen is trying to express about how great design patterns are (the adapter pattern specifically) when it comes to writing code. His content allowed me to think about real life situations in code form when he introduced the basic and premium coffee machines to brew coffee using the adapter pattern. One of the best ways of learning concepts, in my opinion, is to compare it to a real-life situation and then show people visualizations to help them better understand what you are trying to explain and the article did both.
When using architecture patterns, how will you know which one to choose? Peter Wayner, an independent author for TechBeacon takes five architectures that the majority of programs today use and broke them down into their strengths and weaknesses. Through this, it seems like he is hoping to guide users to selecting the most effective software architecture pattern for their needs.
If this article does not clear up enough information, Wayner also brings up a book, Software Architecture Patterns by Mark Richards, which focuses further on architectures commonly used to organize software systems.
The fives types discussed in the article are:
- Layered (n-tier) architecture
- Event-driven architecture
- Microkernel architecture
- Microservices architecture
- Space-based architecture
The one I found most interesting is space-based architecture because at first when I thought of space, I was thinking of the other kind. The one with the sun and the stars and the moon. But then I realized–what does that have anything to do with software architecture? Space-based architecture is listed as “best for high-volume data like click streams and user logs” and I think this one is pretty important, especially during times like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I personally experienced the frustration of not being able to access a site (adidas) due to high volume and it really does not help a business.
Another architecture I found thought-provoking is micro-services architecture because of the way Wayner introduced the concept, “[s]oftware can be like a baby elephant: It is cute and fun when it’s little, but once it gets big, it is difficult to steer and resistant to change.” The author providing an example of this made me think about how a site with so many users and things happening at once actually just had many different separate services but they were put together as one. I was a little surprised to think of Netflix in that way after all the times I’ve used it but it makes much more sense now.
Overall, I found all of the information pretty useful and clear to understand as Wayner described what they were and then listed the caveats and what they were best for. I would recommend using this as a reference or quick review of common software architecture designs if someone needs it.
According to music artists, two is better than one. When it comes to designing code that has two parts, this may not be the case. In Max Kanat-Alexander’s article, he explains how he has a personal rule of needing to know how generic his code needs to be. He describes it as if he were designing an audio decoder and started out with supporting WAV files and then later needed to add support for MP3 files. His solution was for what he only needed on its own instead of having to copy and paste the common parts for the format; he emphasizes that “it’s not just two implementations that are bad, but also two locations.” Another rule Kanat-Alexander has for helping this stay consistent is to create code well enough to ensure you would ideally never have to go back and change it if another part of the code has to be modified.
I found this information useful because I believe that developers are always striving to be the most efficient coders they can be. In order to do so, using two of Kanat-Alexander’s methods would help them plan to code more effectively. Just imagine the potential headache of realizing you have to go further back to code you thought was finished and then even further back when you notice a change on top of what you originally needed to make. This will probably affect how I will work in the future as it will make me sit back and think beyond the task at hand. It would allow me to save room for potential add-ons without them crisscrossing, which would allow me to skip out on having to do more rework.
At the end of the article, Kanat-Alexander notes that the reader does not have to take this as a “hard and fast law of the universe” and I appreciate how he tries to help the reader but does not try to push them to do it his way. In terms of the subject, I do not think my thoughts have changed too much as I do want to learn how to code better and I would like to continue finding out about people’s coding structure process.
To kick off this series, I wanted to introduce why Software Quality Assurance (SQA) testing is important not only for testers to understand, but for developers as well. From my experience, I’ve become familiar with manual testing and exploring different types of automated testing for web applications. I wanted to know a little more about how being a good developer also includes being a good tester and found an article on SimpleProgrammer which reveals the importance of knowing how to test.
John Sonmez, the founder of SimpleProgrammer, says that he “owe[s] a large amount of the success [he] ha[s] had in [his] career as a software developer to [his] background in testing.” I can see why he feels that way, as using just a little more time to double-check what you have created could save you even more time in the long-run. For instance, if something you have spent hours working on seems complete and you do not double-check it and pass it on to a QA team, you have to wait for someone in QA or a testing platform to check it. That could take anywhere between minutes to a few days or more. Once it is QA tested, maybe a bug is found and your task falls back into your hands again.
Could the scenario above been preventable? Yes and no. It is a true that “you can never find all the bugs or defects in a piece of [theoretical] software and you can never test every possible input into the [theoretical] software” but you can try your best. This doesn’t necessarily mean having to do your own end-to-end regression testing through the entire software each time you add a minuscule feature but you should thoroughly check what you have changed and the features directly connected to it.
The article continues to describe common testing forms and what they each mean for developers. Sonmez supports the Agile cycle of software development and describes it in the article as well.
Ever wondered what it was like to work for a tech company? Here’s a perspective from an entry-level/intern position at ten24 Digital Solutions!
Hi I’m Sam, a rising senior in uni! Throughout the past ~2 months I’ve been working at a company downtown and brought my camera to work one day to vlog what it’s like.
I truly appreciate how welcoming everyone at ten24 was, it makes it hard for me to believe I’ve only been a part of the team for two months so far! I didn’t even know this was possible but my love for technology grew even more through learning to use different software tools that I wouldn’t have known existed until now.
This is the 1st video of my internship series, feel free to stay tuned for more including ‘what’s in my bag’ and internship advice.
Shout out to Nina for helping me film that ending and eventually climbing into the backseat for a better shot haha!
Side note; working here has it’s perks like being in super-walking distance to city events and local coffee shops, lunch spots, and more!
Until next time, I’ll