The first installment of The Rundown where I share with you software development things you’re sure to find interesting.

  • Quote

    What matters is having explicit tests that make it easy for you to understand both 1) what is failing, and 2) how you can fix it quickly. — Zach Holman

    I see so many integration tests that test something, but just what is hard to tell. And worse, when they fail, they don’t help determine what exactly went wrong.

  • Project Spring RestDocs with the Spring Auto Restdocs extension

    Documentation is hard. The least you can do is document your public API. This project makes documenting a Spring Boot microservice a snap. Vanilla Spring Restdocs was a verbose way of creating documentation. The extension uses your javadoc to create the documentation, helping you stay DRY. I’ll have a tutorial on this soon.

  • Twitter Mike Sullivan Cloud native ninja

  • Emacs The incredible web-mode

    Edit your web files with a single mode. Includes an impressive number of engines for javascript, erb, go, and so on. Get your web editing on!

  • White Paper The Upside Down Economics of Building Your Own Platform

    Write your own framework. Make your own cache. Do it ourselves, what could go wrong? How about everything!

  • Book Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja

    Part Two Understanding Functions is required reading for any aspiring JavaScript dev.

  • Beer Ska Modus Mandrina IPA

    Because, after looking at code all day, you could use a cold brew.
    Not-too-fruity orange ipa with Mandarina Bavaria hops. This one’s for the summer.

That’s the Rundown. Let me know if you found any of this interesting.

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Iterate Fast

This is one of the best talks I’ve seen.

How lowering the cost – in time, risk, and dollars – of changing and distributing software, helps you avoid the risk of delivering and expensive product that provides low value. Iterate fast, my friends.

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Does your team suffer from anxiety? If a team and it’s surrounding culture doesn’t create a safe place to learn, the team’s ability to grow will be hampered. If the team’s very survival is threatened, not only will the team not improve, nothing will get done. At least, nothing good.

And yet, over and over, I see workplaces that overtly discourage development teams from trying new technology, experimenting with their process, or collaborating more effectively with business leaders and customers.


If you want to help avoid crisis, stagnation, and failure, actively work to reduce the real and perceived levels of learning and survival anxiety. Create a space where it’s encouraged and safe to learn new things. If you care about innovation, be bold enough to empower your teams with the freedom to make it happen.

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Flexible Height, Responsive, Sticky Footers

Your web page has a header, some content, and a footer. If the content isn’t vertically long enough to push the footer down, the footer ends up in the middle of the page – ugly! A lot of solutions use a fixed height footer, which is great until you load the page in a phone or a tablet.

I found a simple solution, and integrated it with Bootstrap.

If you need a responsive, flexible-height, sticky footer – check out my sticky-footer GitHub project.

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Firefox: Not The Tab Groups!

I’m dismayed to see that tab-groups is scheduled to be removed from Firefox (announcement here). It’s one of my favorite Firefox features and a big reason I don’t use Chrome, the other being support for privacy in the Mozilla Manifesto. I always have a pile of tab-groups open:


The good news is that in the announcement, Mozilla includes a link to the new tab-groups add-on, which will work pretty much like the existing functionality. Install it. Live it. Get your tab-groups on!

Pro-Tip: Keep a list of your add-ons in a GitHub gist, for example

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Moving is the New Black

Sitting for long periods will wreck your body in a whole bunch of alarming ways. This excellent video explains how bad it really is, and has a few suggestions for avoiding the worst of the damage we are doing to ourselves.

Even Hemingway stood at a desk – Who are you to argue with Papa?


But, what can a computer using, knowledge worker thug do? I need to be in front of a screen all day (and more). Enter the standing desk.

Some workplaces will provide one for you. Some might require a note from your doctor.

You could buy a standing desk. StandDesk has a bunch of stylish ones that include a motor for raising/lowering the desk. Check out the standing steez on this content creator – gettin’ healthy, reping New Balance shoes, and sipping wine in his fine crib.


To expensive? Here’s what the rest of us do.


Colin Nederkoorn wrote a great article: A Standing Desk for $22. So, if you’re on a budget, or work at a company that would rather you die in your chair than live on your feet, check out how easy and cheap it is to build a standing desk from Ikea parts. I got everything for $40 including shipping to my front door, since shipping was cheaper than the gas and I’m not hungry for horse meatballs.

Quit being a slave to the chair that is trying to kill you. Get out your seat and jump around.

Additional References

Move Your DNA. Katy Bowman. Restore your health through natural movement.

Deskbound. Sitting is the New Smoking. Mobility guru Kelly Starrett says quit sitting down. Check out the video interview for a taste of his philosophy.

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