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Submitted Conference Content

Full name

Michel Grootjans

Job Technical Agile Coach
email michel [dot] grootjans [at] smallsteps [dot] be
Phone number +32 474 277 455
Company SmallSteps
City (Country) Vilvoorde (Belgium)
Time 1h30
Type of Conference Conference-Workshop < 100 attendees
Level Everybody

The importance of code readability


Michel Grootjans has been programming since the age of 12. He has programmed strange machines like the TI 99-4A, the Atari 2600, Mac128, HP28, Apple II, Siemens PLC's using languages like Basic, Pascal, C, HyperTalk, Assembler, ... along the way. His professional experiences includes building enterprise applications for government, chemical plants, telecom, HR, insurance companies, ... in java, C# and ruby. He's an independent technical agile coach. He coaches agile teams on continuous improvement, trying to find the most productive principles and practices to deliver value for the customer as fast as possible, while aiming for a product that is both flexible and maintainable. Presentation Bio: Several internal presentations, including: - continuous integration in .net (in 2004, long before TFS) - the importance of readability in code - refactoring to patterns with ReSharper - several coding dojos in C#, Ruby and javascript - getting started with NHibernate - pragmatic project setup => how to privately setup source control and CI in 15 minutes Gives a three-day training about principles, patterns and practices, including the GoF patterns and the SOLID guidelines XP days belenelux 2009, 2013 and mini XP days 2010 - agile acceptance testing with FitNesse Agile .net Europe 2011 - timesaving tools for .net developers - the importance of readability in code ACCU 2012 and 2013 - the importance of readability in code - TDD Rails from the outside-in Arrrrcamp 2012 - lightning talk on ook!


There are still a lot of myths about developers. Some see them as arcane wizards that can conjure spells, learned from ancient tomes, esoteric symbols flowing out of their fingertips. Why is it still a challenge to convince developers of the importance of code readability. “Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.” -Martin Fowler et al, Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code, 1999 This session will NOT be about comparing different languages, although we'll see a few, both popular and less popular languages. Outline/timetable Introduction -- argumentum ad absurdum: An example of perfectly readable code for non-humans Why? -- Why is readable code important: Examples in the wild What? -- Is 'readable' context-free: What about documentation? Practices that help


A Beamer and a Flip-chart

Benefits for the attendees

I strive to emphasize that code will be read 10 times as often as it is being written. Therefore, it is essential to take the time to write it as simply as you can.

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