Test Driven Development by Example By Kent Beck

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I spent some time working though TDD using C# over the last week. I thought the book was well-organized. Each chapter has small-enough chunks of logic broken down and demonstrating his points was great. Also, his wrap up at the end of the book had some really good pointers. I actually wrote his samples in C# twice. The 1st time I organized and coded my tests more along the lines of The Art of Unit Testing. However, many of his examples depend on multiple asserts in the same unit test and his naming and organization was so tightly coupled to the solution that I went through a second time and followed his testing code exactly (except for the differences between Java and C#). It made his story easier to follow – though I would not use his test naming and organization in a real project.

Some of his pointers I thought were useful:

  • Having the glass of water by your workstation to force you to take breaks (and it’s healthy too).
  • TDD is not TFD – though that is how Kent coded up his solutions. I am still in the camp that you create interfaces and stub out your classes using the built-in tools of VS2010 and then write your tests. You get all of the intelli-sense goodness with red-green-refactor paradigm intact.
  • I like Kent’s pragmatic approach to testing – tests are mutable and expendable. If they no longer have a use – get rid of them. Also, his iterative approach to development was spot on.
  • The advice about cheap desk and nice chair was made sense. It is amazing how those little things can add up to large productive gains.
  • “Failure is progress. Now we have a concrete measure of failure”
  • I follow Kent’s “Fake It” strategy for testing more often than not. I get the red, throw in anything to get green, and then slowly refactor to a better green.
  • Finally, TDD is the exact opposite of architectural-driven development (the mythical man month). You need to drive development with specification, tests, or hope. Everything you write code, you are using one of those three. You might as well be explicit in your choice…. Also, he mentions that TDD assumes that if you write better code, the more likely your project will be successful. That is often a faulty assumption…
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2 Responses to Test Driven Development by Example By Kent Beck

  1. Rob Seder says:

    Not to be too ignorant, but what is “TFD”? I googled for it and didn’t find anything TDD or development related!?

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