Thursday, January 29, 2009

Talk with Matt Poland

While in the Lansing, Michigan, area, I had the fantastic opportunity to visit GreenStone Farm Credit Services and talk to some of their development team about their efforts to bring a legacy application under test. Initially, we were talking a bit about doing TDD, but it quickly became apparent that their current processes would benefit more from just taking some significant steps to decrease the time between checkins for their developers. A good first step is to try to get some automated developer tests around their app as a whole, working on slowly building in shims for isolating their system from the external stuff, like databases and third-party vendor services. I had a great time there, and I really appreciate the fact that they took time out of their schedule to spend a day talking to me.

While there, one of their lead architects, Matt Poland, was kind enough to sit down with me and have a conversation about what they do, how they do it, as well as some thoughts on career development. At the end, he shared a great insight of his regarding how to get your system under test slowly, focusing on 'how do you eat an elephant? one bite at a time.'

Of course, I video-taped it, so here it is. Enjoy!

Talk with Matt Poland from Corey Haines on Vimeo.