be careful with fundamentalism

February 8, 2009

One of my colleagues told me the other day:

“Szczepan, last year, when I started working in the X team someone warned me not to speak too loud about unit testing”

Apparently, there were feisty TDDers in the X team and they witch-hunted devs who not necessarily had written test-first. I guess it’s easy to become a fundamentalist of any methodology or technique. Personally, I don’t mind dogmatic coaching… so long it works. In the X team it clearly didn’t because devs were not feeling comfortable to even talk about testing.

At devoxx I met Jakub and he told me how he had introduced TDD to his team. Apparently, he used his tech lead mandate and just demanded test-fist. After a week or two of resentment, the developers started finding benefits of the new technique. They removed needles from the voodoo dolls, thanked Jakub for almost an eye-opening experience and continued to test first. Nice work! Hopefully I remember his story right – our conversation might have been after few beers.