Testing Developmental Drive

I read a presentation on good clean code today, and understood why mocks were a good idea (even if I knew previously, I hadn’t taken it to heart). I then went to the pub after work and continued to read my book, which described the beginnings of cellular biology in 1950’s America, and how it only really became possible once different labs across the country could recreate each other’s results, i.e. tests became repeatable. This only happened once a framework was established for culture medium, glassware, shipping methods, etc.

This all came after a conversation with a friend / colleague about how I thought our semi-regular meetings about introducing testing were going. I said not very well, that I didn’t feel we were making much progress, that we didn’t have much in the way of management support and our resources for getting the ball rolling were scant. Just talking about it with him, though, was enough to make me imagine a time when we would have the correct tools for the job, and that when a new piece of functionality was requested we would be able to mock any new classes needed, write successful and failing tests for the work, and then fill out the mock methods.

That’s definitely a place I would like to get to.

That came after I saw a fledging Rob Newman try out new material, talking briefly about his time in anarcho-peace camps with no hierarchies, and how he would instinctively try to find an alpha fe/male and tell them his idea and ask if it’s something they were going to do, initially unaware that the lack of hierarchy also meant laziness was not an option.

If you want something and you know how to do it, then do it. It’s the easiest thing in the world to say that you don’t have any support and therefore it’s impossible. I’m not saying that creating a solid software philosophy based on mocking frameworks and TDD is like creating a new field of cellular biology out of nothing or devising a way for humans to survive without hierarchical power structures, you understand. I’m saying that just because we don’t have it now isn’t a reason to not try to get it.


31 January 2013