Exploration Through Example

Example-driven development, Agile testing, context-driven testing, Agile programming, Ruby, and other things of interest to Brian Marick
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Wed, 24 May 2006

Another hint for revising

Here's an addition to my earlier hints for revising. What a reader sees as a digression often seems central to an author. To see how important it really is, try removing it. Then ask what text later in the piece has to be changed because of that. If the answer is "not much," you've got a digression.

The trick for an author alone is to tell which paragraphs to check. (After all, the whole problem is she's blind to what the reader sees.) Checking them all would be proportional to the square of the number of paragraphs—ick. All I can think of is to focus attention on changes of topic.

Once you've found a removeable paragraph, you can either remove it (probably the safest choice) or make the rest of the piece depend upon it.

## Posted at 19:29 in category /misc [permalink] [top]

Business-facing tests vs. rework

I've been working as product director for a project. As many do, I find that I ought to be spending more time at it than I can. I've written only a few business-facing tests (as examples). Would things have gone better if I'd written more? In some cases, yes. In other cases, no. It's actually worked fine to have the programmer implement his understanding of what I mean, then have me point at the mis-fits and describe tweaks. That's true even though he's remote and I'm doing the describing mainly by email and IM (with some voice).

This is a special case: reimplementation of an existing system, nothing exotic about the domain, etc. etc. What I'd like is a better understanding of when to use each of the following development tactics (and blends between them):

  1. Problem description by conversation and business-facing tests.
  2. Problem solution by programmer testing and coding.
  3. Some revision due to product director's reaction to the finished story (including exploratory testing).
  1. Problem description solely by conversation.
  2. Problem solution by programmer testing and coding.
  3. More revision due to product director's reaction to the finished story (including exploratory testing).

Note—and I think it's important—that I am assuming a full set of rigorous TDD-style tests. So the issue here has little to do with untested code; it has more to do tradeoffs between styles of explanation.

## Posted at 13:04 in category /agile [permalink] [top]

About Brian Marick
I consult mainly on Agile software development, with a special focus on how testing fits in.

Contact me here: marick@exampler.com.




Agile Testing Directions
Tests and examples
Technology-facing programmer support
Business-facing team support
Business-facing product critiques
Technology-facing product critiques
Testers on agile projects

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Working your way out of the automated GUI testing tarpit
  1. Three ways of writing the same test
  2. A test should deduce its setup path
  3. Convert the suite one failure at a time
  4. You should be able to get to any page in one step
  5. Extract fast tests about single pages
  6. Link checking without clicking on links
  7. Workflow tests remain GUI tests
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Design-Driven Test-Driven Design
Creating a test
Making it (barely) run
Views and presenters appear
Hooking up the real GUI


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