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Showing posts from August, 2015

Can Programmers Test?

I spend a lot of time working closely with programmers on the software testing process. Much of my career mission is to get more people embracing techniques like Test Driven Development. As I push more and more of the testing demands onto the developers I sometimes run into people who say they need a tester for "independent testing".

It's a concept I'm familiar with from early days in my career. A tester can look at the system and requirements with fresh eyes and find all those cases the programmer didn't consider. If the programmer does all the testing they'll be too tempted to just test the cases they know the code is handling and not discover any new areas where bugs may be hiding. The problem I have with this idea is I never was that type of programmer.

As a programmer if I didn't test something it was purely out of laziness and arrogance. I'm a big supporter of Larry Wall's three great virtues of a programmer. A lazy programmer will do their …

How to Write Code Fast

Start with a clean slate with simple goalsStarting from scratch is such a rarely privilege in professional programming. We get to do it all the time when we’re learning and trying things out. In our early years getting stuck and stumbled on the most trivial challenges. And later being proud of the frameworks and architectures we can build in days (sometimes hours). But there is rarely any money to be made in building something from scratch. There is no value in doing something trivial because it likely has already been done a thousand times before. So we need to add something to existing code. Maybe it’s something we already developed ourselves or something we bought. If we’re lucky the existing code is modular enough that the new feature can feel like starting with a clean slate and give us that burst of speed. So you will often hear the cries from programmers that are working with that monolithic and aging code; “please, please let us rewrite this code from scratch”. I’ve made this cr…