Test-Driven Development – A Life-Style or a Process?

Recently, I had the pleasure of working with a talented team of software engineers to increase their awareness of how they could do more with test-driven development. The team was highly skilled and knew how to write unit tests. One of the discoveries during the process, was that they needed to make their software more testable to enable the test-driven approach. We covered a lot of ground during the 2.5 days of work. One of the best outcomes of the session, was that testing is really more of a developer lifestyle than just a process. We realized that the process of testing really helped with the design of the software and that there was a lot more analysis and design when taking the test-driven approach.

It is important to take time to think before you write code – and sometimes this thinking should be as non-technical as possible. It shouldn’t involve writing code or the IDE – maybe some simple pencil sketches are all that is required. TDD doesn’t rule out thinking, analysis, or design before you write code. It is part of the natural process and needs to be included in the flow of TDD. Here is my slide deck used to facilitate some of the discussion.

Slide Deck: Test-Driven Development