Darth Reed

Now that I have a place to put my quasi-technical babble over at MSDN, the space is reserved for me to spew my political bile and enjoy all things sci-fi. Heh.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

From the Fair & Balanced File: The Opposite of Unit Testing

For an opposing opinion, on the subject of unit testing, you can always look to the Jedi who think they walk on water and believe that they never forget to double-check any of their own code: Unit testing is teh suck, Urr.. Mr. Wil Shipley despises unit testing, which is obvious from his deleterious rant. It is a case in point that he has a Constitutional Right®, of course, to be an idiot. Years of breathing too much oxygen seems to do that to people...

To paraphrase him (and his grandfather), "I've been doing it this way for a million years and it's always been good enough before!" He even makes the goofy claim that he won't switch because he doesn't have any hard data. Heh! There is plenty of hard data that the state of software development is horrific. But if we follow Wil's advice of doing more of the same from decades past, we'll continue to get the same kind of buggy software that went on before... I'm only linking to it by way of reminding myself that there are more minions out there which remain to be conquered by the forces of Order and Righteousness. There is more random not-quite-agreement over at the Coding Horror.

Unit testing isn't the be all and end all of testing. Period. Because you still have to spend years in integration testing and acceptance testing before installing your already obsolete software at the client site. (How else are we supposed to make money on upgrades? Heh.) Unit testing is a damn good practice to impose on the underpaid, sometimes-offshore monkeys in your software factories because developers are human, unreliable and make mistakes. They forget to include things in protein tests later. They don't make checklists. They don't even read my blog. Besides, unit tests give you pretty red and green lights AND spiffy new metrics like "code coverage" to crush the spirit of those evil developer monkeys with. Put the screws to them by demanding that they write the unit tests AND the program code in the same amount of time under the same budget as they used to just write just the software. And the best part is that you can slap a shiny, new "agile" label on the "methodology" to make it easier for management to swallow it (and pay extra for!).

Make the world a better place: Smack down a Jedi prima donna today!


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