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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Fri, 06 Jun 2003

Analogy Fest papers have been posted


## Posted at 14:54 in category /analogyfest [permalink] [top]

Thu, 10 Apr 2003


In my original announcement of Analogy Fest, I said it would be about new analogies, not questioning boring old ones like construction and engineering.

Still true. But here are two links about the construction analogy.

Bret describes how the contractor building his new office assumes that the cost of change is low.

I've changed my mind plenty of times, and it hasn't cost me a cent. My contractor assumes that changes will be made. My architect, and many software people who are keen to make analogies, presume that it is cheap to make changes on paper, but expensive to make them with the physical structure...

On Kuro5hin, there's a longer essay:

Over the next several paragraphs we will examine how the analogy is broken (disfunctional) and why it is dangerous to use the analogy to guide our efforts to make software better.

(Thanks to Paul Carvalho for the second link.)

## Posted at 12:06 in category /analogyfest [permalink] [top]

Fri, 07 Mar 2003

Analogy Fest

Ken Schwaber and I will be hosting a rather odd event at the Agile Development Conference. It's called Analogy Fest. Here's the idea.

Software people often use analogies to other fields as a way of thinking about their work. The most tired one is construction: building software is like building buildings, therefore it makes sense to talk of architects, and architecture, and models that function like blueprints, and careful division of labor, and so forth.

Another popular one is that software engineering ought to be like real engineering. Therefore, we should strive for a type of software development that looks to the numerically-oriented sciences for guidance and lauds a "measure twice, cut once" style of work.

Those analogies are so pervasive that they often go without question. At Analogy Fest, we're going to leave them unquestioned. But what we're going to do is add more analogies. Each attendee will bring a new analogy, serious or fanciful, for discussion. The analogies will be explored in some detail, but our goal is not to assert that they're true. Our goal is that they serve as a trigger for inspiration, a way for a bunch of bright people to have a focused brainstorm that leads to unexpected results.

I hope some people show up! Again, the link is here.

## Posted at 13:58 in category /analogyfest [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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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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