[rspec-users] Do you still Write Tests First on code that is churning hard?

Joaquin Rivera Padron joahking at gmail.com
Fri Feb 19 04:48:02 EST 2010


hi there,
well I'm not a meister myself, but spec-ing something you don't know the
outside result is a bit hard for me.

I normally work in two modes:
* hacking mode: that's when I'm trying to "see" if I can do something, if
the result will run, getting to know the problem and such. In these mode I
"only" write specs that keep me going further, but those look more like test
units. This specs or test-units-specs are something I see as tests that
later are a kind of code history  ("residual tests" keeps coming to the top
of my head) and keep them as long as they don't start becoming a PITA and of
course are still valid :-)

after I know my hack will do, and know the problem better I switch to
typical outside in
* bdd developing mode

so the thing is outside in only works if you know the outside. And also try
to spec only the "right" amount. But for  maths calculations I would for
sure TEST

some thougts, hth
joaquin


2010/2/19 Erik Pukinskis <erikpukinskis at gmail.com>

> Hello Specmeisters!
>
> I have a bit of a philosophical question for the TDD witches and
> wizards out there.  I'm working on some code that is really
> churning... It's doing complicated calculations, but the actual
> desired results are a moving target. The acceptable values, and even
> the structure of the software's output are changing constantly.  The
> internal architecture is changing rapidly, and I'm constantly throwing
> away methods I no longer need.
>
> This has resulted in me no longer writing specs on this part of my
> codebase.  They just become obsolete very very fast.  Changing the
> specs constantly feels like a pointless doubling of my effort.  Specs
> seem to help with debugging and verification that the software is
> performing as expected.  But I'm spending most of my time trying to
> figure out what I should be expecting.  I verify that things are
> working quickly and informally, because it's likely the definition of
> "working" will change before the week is up.
>
> Am I being stupid?  Is it really a pointless doubling, or am I
> creating more debugging time for myself than I'm saving without
> writing specs?  Should I be more religious about Test First?
>
> Thanks in advance for the insights,
> Erik
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