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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Wed, 30 Jul 2003

A note I don't regret sending

In early September, 2001, I was embroiled in a mailing list debate about agile methods with someone I'll call X. Here's a note I wrote on September 12, 2001:

I began writing a note in which I treated Mr. X as an adversary. I was ready to pluck quotes from his last mail and show devastatingly how what he claimed agile methods people said was directly contradicted by (in the case of XP) Beck's _Extreme Programming Explained_.

With that, and with a little clever rhetoric, I was sure that the faceless hundreds of people on this mailing list would judge me the victor.

But then I couldn't do it. I've been thinking hard about the tragedies in New York and Washington, and about experiences I've had this year. I just don't care about being the victor any more. I don't care that I'm right, or if I'm right. I can't summon up any moral fervor.

I was all set to get dramatically upset (because it really does upset me) about Mr. X's implications that I'm a consultant intent on filling my pockets by promoting hype. But, by doing that, I'd be protesting his turning me into a caricature by turning him into one.

Neither one of us are caricatures, or symbols, or abstractions. We're both just people: poor, finite beings, trying to muddle along through life as best we can, thinking that the pathetic distance we can see is the furthest possible horizon.

So, instead - in a note I will probably regret sending - let me appeal to this list: we used to be friendly. We used to be about colleagues helping each other as best they could. About people asking questions and others answering, in a spirit of friendship, without claims of TRVTH or absolute authority. Some of that still happens, but so much of it has been lost. Can we get it back?

One of my tactics in life is to publicly proclaim virtues that I then feel obliged to live up to. Lots of debates about Agility looming ahead - this public posting will force me to treat my debating opponents with charity.

## Posted at 16:28 in category /misc [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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