testing early for the first time

windtunnel Testing early for the first time is a real-life story from Mike Kelly, telling what happened in his group when they introduced testing during the normal development cycle.

“On schedule, several of the developers indicated their code was complete at a status meeting. I configured my local server to run the code and began my testing. Surprisingly (or perhaps not) this caused some problems.”

It showed up problems in the code, half-truths in project tracking and problems with configuration management. But as the initial shock wore off, and the developers became used to the idea, some powerful transformations occurred.

“We had automated hundreds of tests at the component level. We had validated many of the mapping documents. We had become active participants in design meetings (not all of them, but enough that we felt like we had a small victory). And by the end of our testing, we had developers (again not all of them) coming over to us and asking us to review their work. After the initial growing pains of the added visibility to the status of the code, most of the emotions died down, and we were able to release some great software.”

It’s a great story, and well worth a read. And please tell me about other stories like this, in which development groups learn to be agile by dipping a toe in the water…

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