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Coming Up for Air

The Red Hat twitter account just asked this question: "Communities grow by uplifting others. What is one piece of advice you’d offer to a new developer? Reply below and then check out some advice from #RedHatter @somalley108." Here’s my input.

As a general rule, if you’re writing software, you’re probably pretty intelligent. That intelligence, while important, of course, can also become a hindrance. For example, I’ve been told by coworkers, "You may write buggy code, but I don’t" and "We don’t need techincal oversight". I think both of those statements are patently false, and they — and others like them — always take me back to that advice from my first manager, Chris Anderson, gave me way back in 1997:

Check your ego at the door.

It’s really easy to walk in to a coding review, a design session, or one of a myriad of other meetings with your ideas and think they’re the best. It’s also really easy to overlook the fact that other people in that room are also pretty intelligent — maybe even more so (it happens), and that we all have blindspots and weaknesses. In my experience, and I’ve certainly been on both sides more than I care to admit, many conflicts in software development are ego-driven. There’s a difference between being passionate about something and being an arrogant jerk. The latter type does nobody any good, so check your ego. Go in humbly, and see what there is to learn from your coworkers, even if you’re more senior than they. With that mindset, everyone will come out a winner.

The project I’m working on is using Mockk in the unit tests. It’s a great library that has made true unit testing so much easier. I ran into a problem, though, where I needed a method I was mocking to return the value it was receiving. To be more specific, we were passing an object to a Spring repository method that had been built inside the method to test, and, to test thoroughly, I needed to get to that object. Turns out, that’s pretty easy to do with Mockk. Let’s take a look…​

With my recent job change, I’ve gotten a chance to use Spring Boot in anger a bit. It’s been fun, and I’ve learned a fair bit about the current state of Spring (I still love you, Jakarta EE!). One of my tasks involved adding a query method to a repository, and I wanted to make sure the query worked before I pushed it upstream. To do that confidently, of course, required a unit test. In this post, I’ll show how remarkably simple it is to test Spring Repositories using Flyway to set up schemas and test data.

Development environments can get fairly complex, and making sure you’re using the right version of some library or another can be annoying on the best of days. I have a situation like that where my "day job" requires (still, and hopefully not for much longer) JDK 8, but my side projects, learning efforts, etc. can use a more modern version.

Years ago, Charles Nutter shared a shell script he uses to switch JDKs. I’ve been happily using it, but I’ve made some minor tweaks, so I thought I’d share my version here in case it helps someone (and make it easier for me to find in the future ;).

UPDATE: It seems the original author is Nick Sieger. Thanks to you as well, Nick, for a great little utility!

Recently, in the #kotlin channel on Freenode, a user asked a question about what was happening to his Java code when using IDEA’s convert-to-Kotlin functionality. He left before anyone had the time to answer, and while he likely doesn’t read my blog, I’m going to answer his question here anyway. :)

The Micronaut guides are really pretty good. So far, I’ve found just about everything I need. The biggest obstacle so far has been that, at times, the content was scattered across several guides and usually in the wrong language: I’m interested in Kotlin, but the guides seem to be mostly in Java or Groovy. This isn’t surprising, as budgets are limited, of course. What I would like to do here, then, is provide a small sample app, written in Kotlin, that demonstrates how to set up the project, configure and use JPA, and secure the app with JWT.

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with Micronaut, a new-ish "modern, JVM-based, full-stack framework for building modular, easily testable microservice and serverless applications" from the makers of Grail. So far, I’ve been really impressed. The documentation has been excellent, and the framework is very easy to get started with. I have, though, run in to some trouble writing tests, or, more accurately running tests. I spent far too much time trying to figure it out until I finally broke down and asked, and it turns out that it’s IDEA’s fault. While that’s a bit annoying, there is a workaround, which I’d like to document briefly here.

About

My name is Jason Lee. I am a software developer living in the middle of Oklahoma. I’ve been a professional developer since 1997, using a variety of languages, including Java, Javascript, PHP, Python, Delphi, and even a bit of C#. I currently work for Red Hat on the WildFly/EAP team, where, among other things, I maintain integrations for some MicroProfile specs, OpenTelemetry, Micrometer, Jakarta Faces, and Bean Validation. (Full resume here. LinkedIn profile)

I am the president of the Oklahoma City JUG, and an occasional speaker at the JUG and a variety of technical conferences.

On the personal side, I’m active in my church, and enjoy bass guitar, running, fishing, and a variety of martial arts. I’m also married to a beautiful woman, and have two boys, who, thankfully, look like their mother.

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