Christmas 2020

Saturday, 26 December 2020

A scary Christmas present

Christmas this year started technically at 12.01am. I was rostered on to be ‘Vision Mixer’ for the streaming videos of my church’s Christmas eve services - 7.30pm and 11pm. The latter finishing just after midnight.

I’ve been volunteering to be a camera operator and vision mixer since church started live streaming a few months ago. It’s a bit of a dream come true as being a TV camera person was the second job I wanted to be when I grew up (this is before I discovered computers!). Mixing is a challenging job, and I have greater respect for those who do this as their paid job. It’s one of those things when done right, you don’t even think about it. The Christmas Eve services should be uploaded to the Seeds Uniting YouTube channel soon if you’re interested.

I love Christmas. It was always an exciting time when I was a little kid, and I still enjoy it now that I’m well and truly all grown up. It is special as a time to remember the birth of Jesus, and a season of catching up with family and remembering old traditions (or possibly making some new ones).

COVID has obviously had a massive impact on many. Fortunately here in Adelaide and South Australia things are currently in a good state, so any remaining restrictions didn’t impact us personally. I’m all too aware that there are many who are doing it much tougher, or who are missing loved ones that couldn’t be with them due to travel restrictions, or tragically through sickness or death.

Narelle loves a brunch (and she’s not alone there!), so she organised to have her parents and my aunty over for Christmas morning.

For lunch, we headed over to my sister’s place. Food continued to be a highlight of the day. My sister, her husband and their very cute dog did a great job of lunch.

Christmas lunch.

Yum! Oh and it turns out the Christmas crackers had balloons in that you could make balloon animals with. That was a great laugh.

Then just when I didn’t think I could fit another thing in, Mum brought out the Christmas slices for afternoon tea!

Christmas slices

Wow. We got to bring some leftovers home (plus my mother in-law’s home-made fudge). Not sure how long they’ll last. I’ll have to try and keep up the physical activity to counteract all the good eating.

I’m on annual leave for the next 3 weeks. Will be great to have a break, recharge, catch up with friends and family a bit more, and staying cool over summer.

Oh, and what was hiding behind that scary wrapping paper (see first picture)? That was my son showing his creative flare to wrap a bucket of Cadbury’s Favourites chocolates. Still deciding if I’m going to share them🙂

Extending the Cake bootstrapper to parse cake.config

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Cake logo I’ve just had a post published on the Cake blog, describing how to extend Cake’s bootstrapper scripts to support parsing cake.config file.

Particularly useful when adding Cake to an existing project that is already using some of the directories that Cake would use by default.

Read the post, and let me know in the comments here if you’ve ever had to modify the bootstrap yourself.

Continual learning and improving quality

Monday, 7 December 2020

The bio that is on my GitHub and Sessionize profiles (amongst others) includes the following sentence:

"I have a passion for continual learning and improving quality, and enjoy being in and creating environments where these happen."

This isn’t just a throw-away line. I really do like being in that kind of place, but let’s dig a bit deeper:

These could be at work, at a user group, at a conference, in an online meeting, or a virtual community.

Do I do these things all the time? No, sadly not!

These are aspirational - they’re the things I’m aiming for. I’m not perfect, and I fail a lot. I hope I learn from my mistakes, and I hoping I’m heading in the right direction.

Speaking at DDD UK

Saturday, 5 December 2020


I just found out that my talk ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Builds’ has been accepted for Developer! Developer! Developer! Day in the United Kingdom on Saturday 12th December. I won’t be flying to the other side of the world, but rather this year the UK’s premier free developer conference is being run virtually.

Given the time zone difference, I’ll be staying up into the early hours of Sunday morning to present my talk (12.30am my time, so manageable).

They’re running 7 tracks of content, and given it’s virtual then everyone is invited to register and attend.

See you there!

The case of the disappearing 'Debug' CodeLens in Visual Studio Code

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Or how to debug any Jest unit test in Visual Studio Code

I’m trying to debug a TypeScript unit test which uses the Jest library. There’s a nice VS Code extension vs-jest that integrates with Jest and even adds CodeLens labels so you can click to debug a specific test. Except the debug label kept disappearing! It would show when I first loaded the folder in Code, but after the tests all ran then the label would go away. Even though the test is passing, I wanted to debug it so I could step through the code. What’s going on?

Screenshot showing 'Debug' going away

There’s some troubleshooting tips listed on the vscode-jest README. This gave me the hint that there are some config settings that can alter how the extension behaves. When I viewed my current settings.json, I saw this:

    "typescript.tsdk": "node_modules\\typescript\\lib",
    "eslint.packageManager": "yarn",
    "eslint.validate": [
        {"language": "typescript", "autoFix": true }
    "jest.debugCodeLens.showWhenTestStateIn": [

That last setting caught my attention. Clicking inside that array and code completion offered two other values “pass” and “skip”.

    "jest.debugCodeLens.showWhenTestStateIn": [

Adding those and hitting save, and then the ‘debug’ labels returned and stayed for all the tests!