Tag: Development

Go Language, First Steps

Go, first experience.

What

We are living in a very rich IT ecosystem, where developers aren’t afraid to explore new languages, tools and to use out of the box thinking. It’s a great time to living in this IT era! Following this trend, and due to some need I had to start to learn
a new language, GO.

Go, also called golang, was developed at Google. The motivation was to have a language less complex than C++.

Go has great advantages, such as:

  • Concurrency system, far superior than Python, for instance.
  • Compiled language, which makes it faster
  • The executable is static linked, which allows to create an executable for the destination platform. It means, it doesn’t need an interpreter.
  • strongly handling exceptions
  • Low memory footprint
  • Very easy to learn
  • Docker is built in Go

Starting

Installation

Just visit the Golang web site
The binaries are here.

Baby steps

First things first: IDEs

Learning

I started with the “official” tutorial A Tour of Go

The big points:

  • Every Go program is made up of packages
  • Programs start running in package main
  • By convention, the package name is the same as the last element of the import path
  • In Go, a name is exported if it begins with a capital letter
  • In functions, the type comes after the variable name
  • When two or more consecutive named function parameters share a type, you can omit the type from all but the last
  • A function can return any number of results
  • Go’s return values may be named. Also called naked return
  • The var statement declares a list of variables (package or function level)
  • Inside a function, the := short assignment statement can be used in place of a var declaration with implicit type
  • The expression T(v) converts the value v to the type T (casting)
  • Constants are declared with the const keyword
  • loop: for – like c, java, c++ but without the parentesis
  • The while> in Go its the for. for {} = infine loop
  • if doesnt need the parentesis
  • the if> allows a statement before the condition: if v := math.Pow(x, n); condition {
  • switch doesnt have the “break”, it is implicit
  • switch without a condition is the same as switch true. Good for long sequence of “if”
  • A defer statement defers the execution of a function until the surrounding function returns. defer add(2,3) PS: call’s arguments are evaluated immediately
  • Go has pointers!
  • The type *T is a pointer to a T value. Its zero value is nil.
  • The &var operator generates a pointer to its operand.
  • Unlike C, Go has no pointer arithmetic.
  • A struct is a collection of fields “type Complex struct”
  • arrays: var a [10]int
  • slices: var s []int = primes[1:4] – A slice does not store any data, it just describes a section of an underlying array
  • A slice has both a length (number of elements it contains) and a capacity (the number of elements in the underlying array)
  • Slices of slices
  • A map maps keys to values: var m map[string]int
  • Go functions may be closures. return func(x int) int { return x }
  • Go does not have classes. However, you can define methods on types. func (v Vertex) Abs() float64 {}
  • An interface type is defined as a set of method signatures. type Abser interface {Abs() float64}
  • Interfaces are implemented implicitly
  • The empty interface – may hold values of any type
  • A type assertion provides access to an interface value’s underlying concrete value. t := i.(T)
  • ype switches switch v := i.(type) { case T:…
  • Go programs express error state with error values. type error interface {…
  • The io package specifies the io.Reader interface.
  • A goroutine is a lightweight thread managed by the Go runtime. go f(x, y, z)
  • Channels are a typed conduit through which you can send and receive values with the channel operator, <-.
  • Like maps and slices, channels must be created before use: ch :=make(chan int)
  • Channels can be buffered.
  • The select statement lets a goroutine wait on multiple communication operations.

Conclusion

In a first impression I would say its a very good language for scripting. No complications around object oriented concepts. Just got the best of native languages and modern languages. While reading some articles everyone has the same option, Go its very
suited for concurrent applications, since its very easy to use channels, select and goroutines.
For sure, a very good challenger to my usual preference on python

Managers, it is always about people!

 

types-of-exerciseAfter years of developing, team leader and project management experience I realized that all good decisions, even the technical ones must include all the people. Well, “everybody” knows this, every project manager, team leader, manager,etc. Really?

Lets focus on the team developers.

 

Imagine you have a project to develop, a software product. You have a team leader and some developers that you will assign to the project. You want to use the new technologies like HTML5, JavaScript and lets add Java, the software product will be an Android app.

The typical decision will be something like this:

1) I have developers and a senior developer team leader

2) They all know Java

3) They all know about HTML5 and JavaScript, because “everybody” knows about HTML and JavaScript. Right?

4) They all know about java and that is the language of the android, and know what is an Android phone, it will be a challenge!

 

Lets remake the decision looking from outside:

 

1) You have developers and at least one of them it’s a Senior.

– Great!

 

2) They all know Java.

– The problem starts here. What they know about Java? The language and some algorithms (even with some years of experience), or they understand how to apply Java in the context of mobile Applications? If this is the first time they will develop mobile applications, they don’t understand the architecture of these applications, how to develop the components, the events, actions, how the hardware responds and send events to the application. The thing here its not the details of the mobile android development, it’s the lack of “mind set” the team will need before start to code, and the result will be most certain a bad quality product, who will need a lot of fixes and rebuilding. (been there)

 

3) Yes, every developer who have developed before web applications knows about HTML and JavaScript, everybody knows WHAT IS, and the syntax and some tricks, but few, very few understands the JavaScript paradigm and good HTML. Be aware of this before anyone tells that he knows about this subjects. It was only in the least 2-3 years that the JavaScript boom has started seriously, and Senior JavaScript programmers are a very small team. Before this language was only used for events in the HTML, now we have frameworks developed in JavaScript, we even can use JavaScript to create servers like “Node.js”!

 

4) It will be a challenge!

– No, it will be a disaster for the company and/or for the customers! The lack of know how in the middle of the project will arise and show all the architecture problems not prevented in the analysis phase or by the Senior. And here you will have 2 options: Remake the whole product from the start, which sometimes its not a bad idea (only for project managers), because the team already acquired the know how and know how to develop in a better way and know what to develop. Or fix the architecture, and this for me it’s the real challenge and here I thing “It will be a challenge” makes all sense! Its like trying to fix an already built house into other blueprint, good luck! (you will see its better to destroy and build again)

 

What’s my point, here?

 

This was just a simple example, to show that the most common way of thinking can lead to big problems, which by the way are always happening.

Before a great decision to be made in the software industry, first take in consideration the people you will choose. They are people with a specific know how and mind set, and to change that it takes time and it is a process you must consider. You can say, you will put them all in training classes. Great, but don’t expect that some dozen hours will create a miracle and prepare them for big projects. Training just gives you an overview sometimes shallow, other times deep, but after the training the people must play for some time before entering the “competition”. You can see this in sports teams. They are professionals, they play for many years, but when something changes, like others players, tactics (projects), coacher (team leader) they need to practice before the real competition to be successful, or you will ear from supporters “they had no time to practice that’s why they are playing so bad”. Probably you say the same about your sports team. Remember those words in your company and your team.

Once someone said, that 80% of the quality of a product comes from management, not the workers, because they need conditions to develop a quality product or project. These conditions include human resources management, understanding human behavior and acting accordingly!

 

What to do?

 

I will not give you a magical solution, from years of experience as a developer, trainer, team leader, architect and project manager, I can help you to take a decision involving all these variables, but as a manager, project manger or whatever manager you must open space for your developers talk about the difficulties and frustrations they have, and not throwing a “it’s a challenge for you guys” like  a magic sentence that in the future will bring its fruits (demotivation and consequently quitting), and I will not talk here how much it costs to bring a new member to a team (think about a new player in a team, even expensive he need time paid by the sports team to adjust to the new environment).

If you are a developer, be more open to your managers, and ask them time to practice, to develop small “challenges” besides the training and before starting a big project, it will give you know how, confidence and experience for a bigger project. Your company its not wasting money its an investment. I think it will cost more to rebuild or fix a bad product than to spend time before doing some “virtual work” and then do the real work. A soccer team plays 1-2 times a week, and receive money from the public, but during the week they spend money training.

Great Technical Books I have read in the last months

transferirAs a software architect I must have a broad knowledge of several subjects so I can have several tools in my brain to create the better solutions with the right tools. I’ve read (and still reading!) a lot of books, so this post will show some of my last readings with some comment on each of the books.

In future posts I will show other interesting books, sometimes not directly related with software but they gave me another way of thinking about systems, patterns and algorithms that helped me to be a better professional, as a technician and leader whenever necessary.

Hope it can be helpful to your tech and soft improvement in the software industry.

If you know others books you have read who can enrich my knowledge, I will appreciate your comment!

How many methods you have in your classes with: Logging, transaction, validation, exception management? How about remove the code from those methods, write it in another class(es) and add just attributes (or java annotations) and surprise! Your code its so much cleaned! This book has improved the quality of my code, architecture and thinking about applications!
Dependency Injection its about building great software architectures. Its about building software like a house, its about decoupling and loosely couple. Its about building testable software, its about software with quality.
A great book about NoSql! Not too deep, but with the enough information to understand the NoSql world. Even with years in database systems I’ve learned new ways of thinking in this book.
The reference for programming windows, now for windows 8. You can’t go wrong with this book.
You want to know about SCRUM, agile and how it works, this is a very good book to start.
Best book for android development.
I know C, C# and C++. With this book from these guys, I added Objective C to the Cs languages list!
Great book about iOS development. Starts from the basis and then develops some applications and of course your knowledge.

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