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Pairing on Concurrency & Facebook API

2010 February 4
by Nayan Hajratwala

Last Friday was the first stop on the 2010 Michigan Pairing Tour.

I sat down with Ilya Sterin at a Caribou Coffee in Grosse Pointe, Michigan and we started off by discussing a few of the projects he was currently working on.

We decided to write some tests around code that he had written to post Facebook status updates. This led use Mocks for the Facebook API, and refactor some of the code to be more testable.

During this refactoring, Ilya brought up the question of whether we should favor writing testable code at the possible expense of simplicity. I think that writing testable code generally results in simpler code (not gold plating, etc, etc), but I replied that it’s only important to write testable code if you care if it works.

After lunch at a nearby Sushi bar we tackled a different project that had a lot of concurrency going on. Ilya has a lot of experience with java threading and he has an excellent handle on how it all hangs together. I learned quite a bit from him in this segment, include exposure to the Guice DI framework.

We were able to bring a couple consumer/producer classes under test. This again required some refactoring–mostly along SRP lines–and resulted in a simpler and cleaner design.

Overall, it was a great experience, and exactly what I hoped to get out of the pairing tour. I’m looking forward to my February date which is tentatively scheduled for next 2/12/2010. I’ll post more details when it’s confirmed.