Exploration Through Example

Example-driven development, Agile testing, context-driven testing, Agile programming, Ruby, and other things of interest to Brian Marick
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Fri, 02 May 2003

Dave Thomas, exposed

Those of us who know Pragmatic Dave Thomas have often wondered, "Who is he, really?" Thanks to a May 5th New Yorker article (unfortunately not on line), I now know that he's actually a Slovenian Lacanian-Marxist philosopher named Slavoj Zizek.

Evidence, you ask?

  • When Zizek "sees a tube of toothpaste advertising 'thirty per cent free' he wants to cut off the free third and put it in his pocket." When "Thomas" goes to the grocery store, he gets inspired to write a code kata that includes this question: "'buy two, get one free' (so does the third item have a price?)"

  • "One of [Zizek's] fundamental gestures is this: he will present a problem, or a text, then produce the reading that you have come to expect from him, and then he will say, 'I am tempted to think it is just the opposite." In a workshop devoted to the question of how to build software to outlive its creators, "Thomas", one of the workshop organizers, argued that software lives too long and we should rewrite it instead of trying to make it live longer.

    (The article describes something Zizek says about elevator buttons, then says, "Like many of Zizek's observations, this is the kind of insight that forever changes one's experience" -- and "Thomas's" argument was one that made me go "hmm..." at the time and keeps echoing in the vast hollow within my skull. Frankly, I think the software one was better than the elevator one, but probably the New Yorker author thought the latter easier to explain.)

  • Zizek "speaks English... in an accent recalling that of Latka, the character of indeterminate Mitteleuropean origin played by Andy Kaufman on 'Taxi'." Need I say more?

## Posted at 13:49 in category /junk [permalink] [top]

A Red Letter Day

Yesterday, I attended a talk at U Illinois entitled "Evo-Devo for Cultural Evolution: Why Memes Won't Do", by William C Wimsatt of the University of Chicago. I did not come out of it with any elaborate analogies to software development. A sigh of relief was heard across the land...

## Posted at 12:53 in category /junk [permalink] [top]

About Brian Marick
I consult mainly on Agile software development, with a special focus on how testing fits in.

Contact me here: marick@exampler.com.




Agile Testing Directions
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Working your way out of the automated GUI testing tarpit
  1. Three ways of writing the same test
  2. A test should deduce its setup path
  3. Convert the suite one failure at a time
  4. You should be able to get to any page in one step
  5. Extract fast tests about single pages
  6. Link checking without clicking on links
  7. Workflow tests remain GUI tests
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Design-Driven Test-Driven Design
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Process and personality: Every article on methodology implicitly begins "Let's talk about me."


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