In this edition: You suck at TDD; how to go faster by going slower; Ninject for dependency injection; pushing through to project completion; security improvements for Gmail; and a video of a singing hippo.

Sharpen the Saw is a somewhat delayed repost of a (mostly) weekly newsletter of information I publish for the professional development of software developers. While targeted primarily at developers working with the Microsoft technology stack, content will cover a wider range of topics.

To subscribe, send me an email and I’ll put you on the list. Membership is moderated.


You suck at TDD #4 – External dependencies

Eric Gunnerson continues his series on test driven development with a discussion about how key abstractions and the external dependencies they represent are often mishandled. He covers Alistair Cockburn’s Hexagonal architecture as well as one approach for refactoring.

Read now.

How To Speed Your Team Up (By Slowing Them Down)

The Simple Programmer writes about the paradox of rapid software development - working faster means slower delivery cycles - and about how to achieve a regular cadence of releases. At the end, he touches on a related paradox - that while faster is better, targetting a specific number is a mistake.

Read now.

Software and Updates


Ninject is a dependency injection framework that allows you to write your software as a set of (largely) independent components (think lego pieces) that get stitched together at runtime.

Why do you want this? Each component can be tested individually, giving greater confidence in the delivered quality level. Also, when used correctly, depenency injection allows you to quickly and easily add new features to your application without having to modify existing code.

Check it out

Being Professional

The Last 10 Percent: How to Push Through a Project When You’re Nearing the Finish Line

The start of a project is the exciting part - learning about the required deliverables, solving the big nasty fun problems and making great strides towards the finishing line. After that, projects become a drag - and the needful minutiae of getting every detail aligned for success is wearying.

This LifeHacker post talks about why this happens and outlines some techniques for moving getting past the hump.

Read more.

Staying Secure

Google announces changes to Gmail web client aimed at improving user security

Google are making some UX changes to the GMail web client to lift people’s awareness of security issues.

Find out more.

Video of the Week

State law requires you to watch this video of a singing hippo

From the Old New Thing.

Watch now.


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July 2016