a little madness

A man needs a little madness, or else he never dares cut the rope and be free -Nikos Kazantzakis

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Testing Is … Instant Gratification

Somewhat inspired by Alberto Savoia’s article Testivus – Test For The Rest Of Us, I have been thinking about ways to motivate more developers to write more tests. Holier than thou style arguments (“your code is useless if it isn’t tested…”) are no motivation. But there is a much simpler way to approach the topic: testing has many tangible benefits for the developer. Perhaps looking at the ways in which testing can directly benefit us will motivate us all to test more. So I’ll be writing a few posts with perspectives of testing that highlight the benefits I get from my own tests. Here it goes:

Testing Is … Instant Gratification

One of the most frustrating parts of the development cycle is the start of a new major release. This is an exciting time, where big new things are planned and frontiers are explored. However, given the size of the problems that are tackled in this phase, roadblocks are always found along the way. Even when things are sailing along smoothly, the finish line is a long way in the distance. Thus it is easy to get the feeling that you are going nowhere: as you have no concrete features to show for your efforts. That’s where testing can help. By isolating and exercising a smaller piece of the puzzle, you can demonstrate progress. And I don’t mean that you can prove to your manager that you haven’t just been surfing the web all day. Rather, you can demonstrate to yourself that things are heading the right direction. I find that even this small sense of achievement can be really motivating. Once the most basic things are working, you can’t help but add that next incremental step. Before you know it, you’re in the zone and things are really beginning to gel.

So, next time you feel stuck: write some tests!

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One Response to “Testing Is … Instant Gratification”

  1. February 15th, 2007 at 2:02 am

    deployJava » Testing Is … Instant Gratification says:

    […] Go… […]

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