Diary 4th April: Spikes are useful

Today I paired with Rabea on adding persistence to my Contact management app. I feel I don’t pair enough and so for the next few weeks I’ll be doing a pairing exchange with every apprentice. It goes like this one day I spend 1hour pair programming on their project, another day we spend 1 hour pairing on mine. This way both apprentices get help and not too much time is taken away from completing our respective iterations.

Rabea and I started looking at the project, firstly she wanted to use the app to get an idea of what she was dealing with. Once completed we delved into the code.

I began explaining what was the feature requested. “A user should be able to see their contacts on restart.” I had introduced a IContactStorage interface that declares a contract of the required methods to store contact data. It could be argued that this interface was perhaps introduced too early, however I introduced it because I had Dependency Inversion Principle in mind when previously the CreateContact process was dependent on a low level module ContactStorage. Now with the CreateContact being dependent on an abstract, it is easier to swap our different types of storage mechanisms.

Now it was a case of introducing a new class that implements the IContactStorage interface, however while we were discussing this, we realised we hadn’t decided on how to implement the solution. Which meant….SPIKE time!

I’m beginning to see the real value of spikes. I think I saw the benefit when I once paired with Mateu on something and he did it.

So I plan on using Spikes a lot more often, I imagine it’ll be useful I’m not familiar with a framework or a language, and of course, do the simplest thing that’ll will work.


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