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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • sometimes you are in a situation where developer testing simply is not possible due to time/budget constraints or other circumstances.

    This is self-contradictory – the more critical and time-constrained a project, the more important good tests are! If you are short on time, you cannot afford to waste time debugging, and a habitual testing culture will massively reduce the time it takes you to narrow down problems.

    It’s kinda like saying “we don’t have time to make backups.”

    • First off, I agree. My only concern is that the "client" might not put that together and wonder why you aren't cranking out "code".

      • I agree, and do not get me wrong I do developer testing myself.

        This however, in my opinion, is something which is culturally controlled. I must sometimes change context in terms of culture an adapt to client expectations, budget and other constraints, since I work as a freelancer. Many of my clients have no idea what software development is, so either they buy the idea or they shun the idea (often the latter judging from budget).

        And yes I regret this every time.

        Working as a freelancer, coming from a corporate development culture where there was space for unit-testing have taught me something else. When I started out I attempted to adapt corporate development culture (the good things) to my projects, but lets just say, the clients where not ready, some of them where not even ready to get development done in the first place and should have stuck to Excel or whatever they had before. Corporate development is a luxurious world compared to freelancing for small companies.

        I have surpassed my share of deadlines and paid the price also financially - so today I do developer testing when there is room for it in sense of budget and time. I always make room for it in my estimates and with my estimates improving I get to do more developer testing in the projects I do.

        Unfortunately I sometimes get caught in a situation where I have to do more projects in parallel then there is not much time left for doing developer testing - and when I outsource I do not always have the time to learn the resource how to do developer testing.

        Often I get a product, back where I then have to look into developer testing, something I do not always have time for and there was a reason I outsourced it in the first place.

        I also get assignments with corporations, but when you are hired in as a freelancer you are sometimes assigned to projects, which are run in departments that are under severe constraints and therefore the development culture does not have room for best practices, so you do the best you can with time given.

        I still think of myself as new in this business and I can feel that things are improving, with everything from client relations, to estimating and coding using good practices, so perhaps in a few years perhaps I can afford the luxury of declining clients not ready to pay for proper development, not hire resources which do not do developer testing and code using best practices, but until then I must have pragmatic approach to developer testing and some of the other good practices, but believe me I am very much aware of this fact.

        So yes, I think it something we should afford, instead of paying the penalty later.

        Comparing developer testing to backup is a bit drastic in my opinion.
        • Actually it’s exactly what I was talking about.

          Yes, failing to make backups is a huge mistake. It results in a huge catastrophe at some point.

          It may seem drastic to compare tests with it, but it’s not. The difference is simply that instead of a single big catastrophe you get many small setbacks. You waste a lot of time at a later stage of the project that you could have saved by going more slowly in the beginning. “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four s

          • I do in no way take this is a criticism :)

            Since what we are discussion are founded in matters of opinion and I rather enjoy discussing the topic.

            Anyway I am going to have you have the last word, since your argument is very sensible and reasonable and I agree.

            You actually used an argument I always use, when talking about whether you should be working on some semi-configured workstation provided by a client, instead of your own.

            I always argue that you do no require either the plumber or carpenter to use your
            • Yes, exactly. We’re fully in agreement.

              And I know – it’s not going to be easy. But software development is in a terrible state right now, with hardly any projects finishing in the estimated time and budget and with satisfactory deliverables, and that won’t improve unless we as practicioners make conscious and conscientous efforts to change the situation.

              Therefore: onward ho. :-)