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 Nov 2004

How people add basements to houses

In response to my note about adding a basement to a house, Lisa Crispin writes:

On the basement analogy, I would just like to point out that my neighbor dug his basement out by hand some years after he bought the house. This was back in the 40s when there weren't really many power tools to help with this. He had a conveyor belt, buckets and a shovel. He paid a laborer with a wheelbarrow to take the dirt a couple blocks down to a gulch and dump it there (of course, you can't do this these days in the city either, but y'know, simplest thing...). He ended up with a nice finished basement. This is very common in our neighborhood. Most houses were built in the 20s and 30s with only crawl spaces, and dug out later (I guess it's amazing that the gulch is still a gulch!). Our own basement has been dug out TWICE, who knows when but certainly more than 40 years ago (the second dig was to fit in a big coal furnace), and is extra deep. So maybe the idea of building the basement first and then the house was a later innovation! ;->

Interesting. Before heavy equipment, the cost differential between basement before and basement after was probably much smaller. Just as technology can make house construction from the bottom up more compelling than it once was, technology (refactoring tools, lots of spare cycles for continuous builds, pair programming) can make software design from the top down less compelling.

## Posted at 12:23 in category /agile [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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