Matt Polito on Why Cucumber is Still Relevant

This afternoon at Windy City Rails, Matt Polito of HashRocket gave a talk called “Why Cucumber is Still Relevant.” For those who haven’t used it, Cucumber is a gem used in conjunction with writing tests in a rails application that provides a domain-specific language for describing and documenting what the application is supposed to do.

He brought up this article by Martin Fowler, which poses a question:

Will DSLs allow business people to write software rules without involving programmers?

He ends up answering this in the negative, but instead identifies the value of making software business-readable rather than business-writable.

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How Being an Athlete Prepared Me for Programming

The view of the prototypical programmer as a nerdy, non-athletic type is, becoming, thankfully, a thing of the past. Nevertheless, one still finds members of the tech community who regard the ex-athlete programmer with curiosity. For a person to both play a sport and program computers, they must master completely different skill sets, right?

Hardly. In fact, some of the most important lessons I learned as an athlete have been fundamental to my improvement as a programmer.

And if you were never an athlete, this might be even more important for you to read than if you were an athlete: it’s like a cheat sheet that you can use to approach programming with an athlete’s mind without ever having to get sweaty yourself :).

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