Nicolas Frankel

Nicolas Frankel: I transform ideas into software

It`s the second time when he is coming to Iași for DevExperience, because he felt in love with our city and because he had such an amazing time during the conference.
Nicolas Frankel is coming again to DevExperience and now he is bringing a very nice talk on how to improve your tests quality with Mutation Testing. Wanna know more about him? Read this interview that he gave especially for DevExperience!

DevExperience: What did you want to become when you were a child?

When I was really young, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I liked animals - and still do and wanted to take care of them. However, I cannot stand the sight of blood. In high school, I played with the idea of creating jewellery.

DevExperience: What is the story of your begining in this field? How did you start working in this industry?

After high school, I didn't know what I really wanted study. I started studying physics, and afterwards architecture. In the second year of my architectural studies, we had a course on 3D modelling using description files. This was very much like coding, and I loved it so much I spent nearly the whole semester working and working and working on my assignment. Afterwards, I curbed my studies to end up in the software industry.

DevExperience: How do you see the future in IT? What will be the main jobs in IT ten years from now?

The last time I made a forecast was on Adobe Flex, now Apache. I thought it was the solution to all UI design issues on the browser. Steve Jobs killed it. Now, I keep my predictions to myself. And you should probably be very careful around someone who claims to forecast what the IT job landscape will be in 10 years.

DevExperience: What are the common mistakes that people are making in testing?

Before, it was easy: the first and foremost mistake was that testing was not automated. Now there are unfortunately many more. However, the saddest one is the separation between those who believe unit testing is the answer to all problems and those who believe integration testing is.

DevExperience: What is your impression about Iași and Romania?

To be honest, I went to Bucharest 2 years and it felt too much like Southern Europe, especially the traffic. I prefer Iasi much more. In general, I prefer smaller cities.

DevExperience: What is your advice for a junior who wants to develop a career as a Software Architect?

I wouldn't give an advice, but asks this question: why do you want to become an architect? Is it for the money? For the coolness factor? For the challenges? Depending on the answer, I might propose better suited alternatives. Honestly, this role has a lot of aura, but in real life, it's not the one I like the most.

DevExperience: What do you do for your both personal and professional development?

On the professional side, I read a lot of tech articles and a few books. I try to attend webinars when I can. I also do code and write posts. Finally, I do teach and speak at tech conferences, as the best way to learn is to teach (no kidding!).
On the personal side, I'm currently trying to learn Russian.

DevExperience: How does a normal day looks like for you? What about a not so normal day?

I usually start the day by checking my feeds and reading the most interesting articles. Currently, I unfortunately have tons of meetings, so this is how goes the morning. I try to fit in in my daily 5-minutes Russian learning. At lunch time, I like to take a pause and go running for ~1 hour. This is a great way to clean my mind. The afternoon is either dedicated to more meetings or to do actual work... In the evening, I try to read posts I didn't have time to read during the rest of the day, and prepare my weekly post.
Obviously, it's hard to generalize about no-so-normal days :-) But I can teach, or attend a conference...

DevExperience: What is the greatest part of your job? What is the not so great part of it?

The greatest part is the problem solving part. Even if I now seldom code, nothing beats getting sh... done :-) The second best part is the mentoring: it's not very often, but I like that after spending time with me, people know more than before.
The not so great part for me is the unproductive part: useless meetings, admin tasks, etc.

DevExperience: How would you explain to an old lady who knows nothing about technology what is it exactly that you do? :)

Before, I told I was an IT guy, and every one was asking me questions about fixing his Windows computer. To avoid that, I now tell that I'm an IT consultant. This raises less questions. However, for a nice old lady who would really be interested in the answer, I'd say that my job is to transform ideas into software.

DevExperience: Tell us more about the main ideas of your talk at DevExperience! Why should people register and attend the event?

My talk will be about challenging some widespread but wrong ideas about unit testing in general and the code coverage metric specifically. I won't stop at that, but also provide a working alternative to code coverage to improve the confidence level in the testing harness.

Wanna be there, at DevExperience, learning directly from Nicolas Frankel and meet him in person? Well, you`d better register fast, because there are only a few days until the big conference!