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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Sat, 27 Mar 2004

Living in the material world

[Update: added a title for fear the lack of one would break some aggregator somewhere.]

Ben Hyde writes:

Tools do seem to be making a difference here. A good bug database, the optimistic concurancy design pattern used in CVS, even something as amazingly simple as SubEthaEdit. It gives one hope that some what seems so hard may only be a misunderstanding about how to frame up the work.

There's technological determinism, vividly displayed in the 90's proclamations that the internet would "route around" all political blockages and empower people all over the world and make participatory democracy inevitable.

There's social determinism, the notion that, say, social class drives everything, or that managers need not be expert in the business they manage, or that problems in software projects can be understood with reference only to the people involved: what universal behaviors are they exhibiting?

The view I subscribe to is that the world is a big feedback-ey mess. The technological affects the social affects the material affects the conceptual affects the technological... One of the attractive things about the Agile methods is the emphasis they place on the material world. People are not just conceptual entities processing information. They are embodied, living in a physical space that affects what they do and how they think. Hence the emphasis on the tactility of 3x5 cards, on the open workspace, on information radiators.

Perhaps the agile methods will not just produce more satisfying software quicker. Perhaps they'll shift us geeks away from a too abstract - a too unidimensional - view of the world.

(See also this post from Michael Hamman.)

## Posted at 08:20 in category [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.




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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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