Insights from Bob Martin's Agile Toolkit Podcast

Thanks to David Carlton for posting a link to the first Agile toolkit podcast in one of his comments.

In this podcast, Bob Martin restated some of the critical XP practices, from which the other practices will tend to follow. I thought this was OK but not particularly enlightening. I did find some interesting insights in some other comments that Martin threw in offhandedly.

First, there's the statement that the purpose of testing is to determine when we're done, not to find bugs. This probably isn't original, but it's an important point. I constantly run across people who think that the purpose of testing is to find bugs.

Second, there's the notion that there is a QA group whose jobs is to be specifiers for acceptance tests, instead of executing tests on the finished product. I hadn't heard this before. This seems to work well if you're using something like FIT for acceptance tests. I'm not sure how one would apply this to platform software products (which is what I work on). Something to think about.

Finally, there was the idea that QA can get ahead of developers in mature organizations, getting the tests ready in advance of the product being ready. This is TDD in the large, and it makes sense. Unfortunately I've never seen this in practice. It sounds like something worthwhile to strive for, however.

Comments:

Purpose of product testing process is well... here I agree with original post, to DWWD (determine when we're done).

Purpose of test design is to find bugs. Is it really? Some might say test is there to verify that feature works = again, it's there to DWWD... Is it really? hmm I don't think so. Failed test from which it is hard to find failure reason is imNSho as bad as no test at all. Good test is one from which is easy to understand failure reason - to me that means it should be designed with the purpose to find bugs.

Posted by gnat on August 28, 2006 at 06:03 PM PDT #

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