At the very beginning of 2014 I decided to start better documenting my reading habits and sharing them here with all of you.

The point is two fold – by curating and documenting, my reading has become more purposeful and diverse. Also – I believe that curation of good content brings a lot of value, helps people explore and allows the best stuff to raise to the top.

Hopefully you'll enjoy these as we move in the latter half of 2014.

Here we go…

1. Java and Spring

>> Writing Tests for Data Access Code – Unit Tests Are Waste

Overusing unit tests is a common trait after a developer discovers TDD – due to the enthusiasm and mindset shift that comes out of that discovery.

After a few years of diligent practice and with a ongoing re-evaluation of assumptions, that same developer starts leaning towards integration tests.

Another chunk of time and unit tests are used as they're meant to – a design tool, not a check on the correctness of the system.

Does it stop here? I have no idea – but I hope not. Wherever your are on that path – this article is a good read – so get with the clicky-clicky and read it.

>> 6 Reasons Not to Switch to Java 8 Just Yet

Some Java 8 caveats. I think we can all agree that Java 8 has been a solid step forward for the platform, especially after so long a stagnation, but nothing is perfect – and it's worth knowing what to expect right off the bat.

>> JUnit: testing exception with Java 8 and Lambda Expressions

A DSL for exception checking built with Java 8 – yeah, JUnit is becoming cool again.

>> Hibernate Identity, Sequence and Table (Sequence) generator

Vlad is on a roll with his Hibernate series – this piece is a good primary on primary key strategies.

And finally, a slew of new Spring releases:

2. Musings

>> The Secret to Avoiding Paralysis by Analysis

Getting bogged down in the weeds and in the “what ifs” and not delivering because of that is a real shame.

TDD is one technique that can get you out of that mindset and into an incremental and organic frame of thinking about your system and your options. A high degree of pragmatism works as well.

>> What’s Your Greatest Weakness: The Employer-Candidate Impedance Mismatch

Further thoughts on the hiring practices and the sub-optimal way our whole industry leaves this oh so important task to chance.

>> The Sean Wes Podcast

Let's end on a strong note – this podcast is absolutely fantastic.

If you're not yet listening to podcasts – do yourself a big favor, install a podcast app on your phone and start binge listening to this one. If you don't already listen – make this your first – pick any (and I do mean any) of the episodes, have a listen and I guarantee that you won't stop any time soon (I'm still half way through).

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