Can a Unit of Behavior Span Objects?

A client recently asked me if a unit test could test multiple objects. On the surface, you might suppose my immediate answer would be “No way!” But his question, and my answer were both a bit more nuanced than

Read More

A Dozen Reasons Why Test-First is Better than Test-Later, Pt. 3

The third and final part in the Developer Essentials mini-series of posts about test driven development (TDD). Click here, if you missed Part 1 or Part

Read More

A Dozen Reasons Why Test-First Is Better Than Test-Later (Pt. 2)

From the Developer Essentials Newsletter: The intersection of Agile methods and technical software development.

If you missed Part 1, review it

Read More

A Dozen Reasons Why Test-First Is Better Than Test-Later (Pt. 1)

An editor of Dr. Dobbs magazine once wrote to me—replying to my response to an article—“All the benefits [of Test-Driven Development] could be attained equally by writing tests after the code, rather than before.”[1]

Tests exercise software to be sure it’s doing what was intended. So, whether you use Test-Driven Development (TDD) or write unit-tests

Read More

Object Oriented Programming in a Nutshell

Next year I’ll likely be teaching Essential Test-Driven Development to a team that includes about 50% COBOL programmers. I told the client I’d look for a good object-oriented (OO) primer for those developers to read in advance. As you can imagine, it’s tough to “unit-test” software that doesn’t have clear “unit” boundaries. COBOL relies on

Read More

A Recipe for an Agile Team Space

Occasionally, I’ve been asked to help design team rooms for a client.  They may have been planning to hire an ergonomic architect/designer in addition to an Agile Coach.  Great, but before they got that far, I had two suggestions for them:

  1. Involve your existing Agile team members in discussions in order to uncover their

Read More

Sharpen Your Knives

You’ve heard the old adage about the lumberjack who—in order to cut a tree in an hour—will take 45 minutes to sharpen the saw? This old analogy really needs updating: Not many of us are all that familiar with the logging industry.

I like to instead use the metaphor of the chef who sharpens her

Read More

Exceptional Circumstances

In our BDD course, we use a real example of an online library patron portal. Course participants are provided with a number of (often vague) business rules regarding whether or not a book loan can be renewed. Some have to do with the state of the book (e.g., has another patron requested a “hold” on

Read More