Sunday, April 22, 2012

Roman Numerals Kata revisited

More than a year ago I wrote a post and recorded a video about the Roman Numerals Kata. To be honest I haven't been doing many katas lately but as I've had this weekend for myself, I went back and revisited the Kata, in JavaScript this time. And also recorded a video:

I am not really sure about how my coding has changed in the last year. There's no doubt that JavaScript uses a very different philosophy to Java, and I'm a lot more confident writing JavaScript now, but other than that, not much seems to have changed.

The only common pattern I see is that TDD is really helpful. In both screencasts you can see me doing something wrong (mixing up symbols last year, and forgetting to set the main function for immediate invocation this year, for instance) and only by having tests failing I realised that they were problems. It really saves you time if you don't have to deploy your code and play around with it to see what you've broken. Also, being the first user of your own code allows you to put a bit of thought in your design.

In this version I was not interested about recursion or Maps in Java, and I decided to skip the outer BDD layer (although Jasmine would allow me to do so). What was more interesting was to go through the different Module pattern incarnations in JavaScript, and using jasmine-node from the command line, although the --autotest option keeps crashing on me so I cannot use it! I am not the biggest fan of autotest utilities but for these kind of deliberate practice they are actually quite nice.