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Bizzaro Development

Filed Under Software Process, Thought Stuff

The more the software discipline evolves, the more humor I find in the fact that our practices seem to start contradicting older practices which seem natural and intuitive. Let me explain…

I had an interesting read called – Test Developers Shouldn’t Execute Tests. Long story short, the idea is test developers shouldn’t waste time running (and therefore watching) tests run and execute. Test developers should stay concentrated on writing test code, while a lower class tester or continuous build server executes the tests.

Bizzaro Superman

After reading the article, I felt a little confused. Like I had just seen Bizzaro Superman for the first time. “Testers not running tests…that can’t be right…“, I reiterated in my head as I reread the post. Now it makes sense to me, but at first I was initially very skeptical and defensive.

In hindsight, this reaction was no different than when I heard about TDD for the first time. I had to force myself to practice TDD as it seemed unnatural – like learning to write cursive with your non-dominant hand. Quickly it’s backwards thinking started to make sense and the results were phenomenal.

Waterfall and RUP, whose logical ideals of how software is built seem to fit comfortably in our brains, are now challenged by XP, Agile, and SCRUM. Agile and SCRUM seem very illogical, almost a willy-nilly hippie socialist approach to building software, but agile approaches are mainstreaming because they work well.

Our software development world has been slipping into bizzaro world for some time now – and I like it.

Bizzaro vs. Superman

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Comments

3 Responses to “Bizzaro Development”

  1. Anthony on May 15th, 2008 9:38 pm

    bizarro is only the beginning of how wrong this all is.

  2. Max Pool on May 16th, 2008 5:33 am

    @Anthony – Care to elaborate?

  3. Anthony on July 10th, 2008 11:39 am

    There is absolutely nothing wrong is structured, disciplined software development. It wasnt broken, there was no reason to go find “other ways” to write and test code. Change isnt always good.

    I quit a shop that forced me to develop with that “agile” mentality. Its bass-ackwards and it produces crap. And these folks have been using it for quite some time, it wasnt as if they just adopted it. They had a fruity directory who was more interested in trees than he was in the state of confusion his development shop was in due to the continual miscommunication of agile.

    People will never learn. Change is only good for the one or two that initiate it – everyone else suffers.

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