PICnet launches into test-driven development

test driven developmentI must admit, when it comes to development processes, I’m an old fashioned pseudo waterfall procedure kind of guy. I know what you’re thinking: this guy needs to drink the agile programming, extreme programming, pair programming Kool-Aid.

Well, with the help of our development department, I’m in full test-driven development therapy (thanks Chris and Mark). Even better, I’m dragging one of our project managers, Pradeep, along for the ride.

From our friends at Wikipedia: “Test-Driven Development (TDD) is a software development technique consisting of short iterations where new test cases covering the desired improvement or new functionality are written first, then the production code necessary to pass the tests is implemented, and finally the software is refactored to accommodate changes.”

Gulp. Can management and test-driven development live in harmony? I’ll be honest, I’m skeptical of anything that has people saying, “by using X, you”ll spend less time debugging than ever before.” It just sounds too good to be true, much like something from an infomercial to me. However, I can definitely see the benefits from the logic perspective. The goal is to build pass/fail tests, which can be replicated and rerun extensively during the development process. The logic side of my mind loves this, as it boils down all development building into 0′s and 1′s.

The rational business side of my mind is a stubborn skeptic though.

In order to begin our track down the test-driven development path, our development team has a deal with management: Soapbox incremental development will take place using TDD, but large custom development work will continue to follow our pseudo waterfall methodology.

We’ll keep you posted on our experiment, but I encourage all of you using TDD to send in your thoughts, successes, and failures.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 31st, 2008 at 8:00 am and is filed under development, nptech, open source. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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