Today, I was working on my lawn. Spreading new soil to sow new grass. I was looking at the ground, and I was pretty sure drainage wasn’t going to be good. I decided to make a test: I got out the garden hose and let it flow. Sure enough, water was pooling instead of draining. Back to the drawing board (or at least, a couple more rakes to spread things around).

As I was working the soil, a thought hit me: I’d say nearly every profession has been doing test driven design (not development) since pretty much the dawn of time:

  • the toolsmith in the ancient tribes would hit the stone, see if it did work or not, and repeat as appropriate;
  • the chef tastes his food before letting other people eat it;
  • the plumber tests the pipes before letting the water flow in;
  • the soldier tests his equipment before setting off on the battlefield;
  • naval engineers are simulation testing their latest aircraft carrier in an effort to ensure nothing is out of place;
  • certain programmers write automated tests for their code, to ensure it works as designed.

If nearly every profession has been doing it for thousands of years, why aren’t you doing it today?


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I am François Beausoleil, a Ruby on Rails and Scala developer. During the day, I work on Seevibes, a platform to measure social interactions related to TV shows. At night, I am interested many things. Read my biography.

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