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, 28 Sep 2005

Upon the occasion of a school meeting

Our children go to publicly-funded schools, partly because I buy the argument, from The End of Equality, that it's been important for US society that we've had places where citizens of different incomes and classes mix.

My son has some developmental difficulties. Nothing major, nothing romantic - but a need for help with fine motor control, speech, and some social interactions.

I've worked with big organizations and small, old ones and young ones, monopolies and competitors. I have a bias - both instinctive and learned - toward the small, the young, and the competitive. (I was once on the technical board of a small company that had a niche market to itself, and I watched how the appearance of a competitor concentrated their mind on bettering the product. It was a wonderful example of how competition is a burden placed on organizations for the benefit of the rest of us.)

So I should be - am - naturally suspicious of the public school system, which is large, set in its ways, bureaucratic, and much like a monopoly. But I'm here to tell you that the people - teachers, administrators, school therapists - have, almost without exception, been wonderful. I've been around. I know the difference between people just doing a job and people motivated to do a good job. These people would be a credit to any organization, even the smallest, youngest, and leanest.

It's almost as if employees can be motivated by something other than money and status.

So the next time you hear a politician speaking scornfully of the teacher's union or the school system, just remember there are a lot of good people in those organizations. Not only are they working hard with resources so limited they make your organization look like the US Congress funding public works in Alaska, they're doing it while enduring constant insults.

## Posted at 07:53 in category /misc [permalink] [top]

Being wrong

Hardly anyone thinks the software industries do a satisfactory job of getting the requirements / architecture / design right up front. The reaction to that, for many many years, has been that we should work smarter and harder at being right. Agile flips that around: we should work smarter and harder at being wrong. We should get so good at being wrong that our predictive failings do no harm to us, our project, our employer, or our users. In fact, we should strive to make mistakes---the need to redo---a constructive resource.

## Posted at 07:53 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.




Agile Testing Directions
Tests and examples
Technology-facing programmer support
Business-facing team support
Business-facing product critiques
Technology-facing product critiques
Testers on agile projects

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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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