Author Archives: RNewstead
Firstly, as a massive caveat to this post, let me say that I’ve only ever worked for two companies. I have worked on different teams within these, but nonetheless I realise I don’t have a wide range of experience here. … Continue reading
Last week I gave a lightning talk about my experiment with Test Driven Development. It’s available on Vimeo here.
There were some clear advantages to the TDD approach to writing. In particular, writing the acceptance test first made me focus on exactly what I was trying to achieve. In some ways this is similar to writing an essay where … Continue reading
I have an acceptance test: Given a review is written about a book When I read the review I know if I want to read the book. To set up the given, I need a book and a review. I’ve … Continue reading
I am often asked about how a history graduate ended up being a software developer. Usually I give some vague spiel about the parallels between the two (see my earlier post). A while back I got talking about TDD in the same breath, which led me to wonder: can I test drive an essay? It’s been too long since I’ve written an essay (and I can’t say I miss it), so I decided to test drive a book review instead. Continue reading
A while back my sister, who teaches at a secondary school, asked me to give a talk to her students about what I do. After some initial resistance (about six months), I decided I’d do it.
I started thinking about when I was at school and how I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. In many ways I am none the wiser now, but I have found something that I enjoy doing, that challenges me, and that I can keep on learning as I do it. This may not always be the case, but it is for now. At school I just did as I was told. I got good grades, I went to a good uni, got a good degree. Then it was all a bit scary as I was suddenly on my own and free from the expectations of my parents and teachers / lecturers. There was a vague idea that I should get some sort of job / career, but it was a lot more fuzzy about what this should be and what ‘good’ actually meant in this context. Basically it was now a lot more about what I actually wanted rather than what other people wanted for me. And somehow I ended up going into IT and now I’m a software developer. Rather surprising for a history graduate, but it’s worked out pretty well.
After six months of calling myself a tester I am moving back into development for the forseeable future. However my time in testing has really opened my eyes to its importance in software development. The following ‘commandments’ are important lessons I have learnt about testing, in roughly the order that I learnt them. Continue reading