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, 17 Mar 2004


Jonathan Kohl has posted a copy of an article of his on developer/tester pairing.

Jason Yip suggests losing the term "agile":

"Agile" is not test-driven development, continuous integration, simple design, whatever; it's any feature, any order, most valuable feature first.

Part of the purpose of the workshop that led to the Agile Manifesto was to find a replacement for the term "lightweight processes." People felt that saying "I'm a Lightweight!" somehow didn't get the right message across to Gold Owners.

"Agile" was certainly a success in those terms. Jason suggests it might have been too successful now that everyone's piling on.

Perhaps, though I do think there are other unfortunate terms to go after first.

However, Jason's definition doesn't capture two of the values the Manifesto documents:

  • individuals and interactions...
  • customer collaboration...
I think those two human elements are important. But including them would make any phrase too long, leading back to the need for a word.

Jeffrey Fredrick on confidence due to tests.

And related: Alberto Savoia with some history of a testing tool company that's eaten its own dogfood. (Disclosure: I've done consulting for Agitar.) I was particularly interested in the effects of their dashboard, both good and bad. I remain wary of numbers. My normal preference is for dashboards and Big Visible Charts that are perceptual, fuzz out the precision in the data, and present the results of exploratory data analysis. But lots of numbers make it harder to game the system (consciously or unknowingly), and using the numbers in a system filled with human feedback ought to make them self-correcting.

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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
Creating a test
Making it (barely) run
Views and presenters appear
Hooking up the real GUI


Popular Articles
A roadmap for testing on an agile project: When consulting on testing in Agile projects, I like to call this plan "what I'm biased toward."

Tacit knowledge: Experts often have no theory of their work. They simply perform skillfully.

Process and personality: Every article on methodology implicitly begins "Let's talk about me."


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