July in Retrospect 🎆

This has been a busy month full of learning and renewing my efforts with this blog and my content creation pursuit.

With learning, I’ll actually break that out over the upcoming weeks to cover some different topics.

Test Driven Development

Testing automation and continuous delivery have been a big theme. They’re something I want to integrate into the SDLC at work with my teams. Ultimately it’s about streamlining deployments so developers can spend their time on what they like to do.

There are many hurdles to get over, many of those being related to knowledge in the quality control space.

International TDD Conf

 July 10 was the first International Test Driven Development Conference. The speakers did a great job at covering different aspects of testing.

I thought I knew what TDD was. You write tests first and then the implementation. Right?

I discovered that description doesn’t really do it justice. The TDD demonstrated in the conference integrated testing into development every step through a cycle known as Red, Green, Refactor.

The talk by Jov Mit does a good job at covering what Red, Green, Refactor is, different styles of TDD, and a live demo walking through TDD.


This concept is brought up in Jov’s video. It’s honestly taking a bit more to get my head around. I need to sit down and try my hand at it.

Something that has helped is this illustration showing that the first three parts of ZOMBIES intersect with the last three.

TDD Guided by Zombies – James Grenning

Guidelines and learning standard practices are very helpful. Going beyond simple unit tests felt like a struggle, and I feel like we’re finally getting the tools to give some tractions.

I hope to touch on these more in the future.

Jenkins X

I also discovered Jenkins X, a continuous delivery (CD) solution that bundles several existing products together, including ✨ preview environments ✨ on pull requests.

This actually takes care of something I really wanted to accomplish this year. It sounds like I may be able to do this with less leg work (and more support).

Blogging and Content Creation

I realized this month that my blog is now a little over ten years old.

I’ve wanted to do something with this site for a while, but haven’t had the time to really do anything. I have more free time now but have been unsure what direction to take the blog.

Coincidentally, I came across a newsletter and later a community that is for IT blogging. I took the opportunity and am looking forward to bringing more content to this blog.

A couple of things that have been bugging me about this blog is that the design uses small text, and it’s on a dynamic CMS (WordPress). I would like to use more readable typography like what’s used on Medium and make the pages static so they are more performant and security is easier to maintain.

I have a new design that I’m finishing up that uses TailwindCSS. I actually started it out in NextJS, but I couldn’t get the current syntax highlighting to work, so I’ll have to loop back on that later.

Tech Picks

I ran into something this month that got me looking into ways to improve my experience using the Mac terminal, and later that got me looking into something similar on Windows.

For Mac

I started looking into tools and shortcuts to reduce the number of keystrokes for everyday activities.

For Mac, I’m using the “Oh My Zh” framework to customize/empower the zsh shell.

“Oh My Zh” supports many plugins; one, in particular, is called per-directory-history. It does what it sounds like, keeps a history of commands run in the directory they were run from. Global history can be toggled to access all history.

This has been quite useful for project-related commands. I can navigate to the project directory, and access commonly used commands for that project.

For Windows

The Windows OS has a Mac-like terminal called Windows Terminal (GitHub). Unlike Command Prompt or PowerShell, Windows Terminal has tabs. It also allows backgrounds.

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