Monday, November 27, 2006

Loving the test dots ..................F.....................

For the past while, I've been working on the largest project my company ( has ever undertaken. The scope is rather large and requires lots of data import. To make sure that we got off on the right foot, we spent a lot of time (perhaps too much) developing our framework for what is to come. One of the issues was that we were dealing with a very abstract tool in the beginning (an authorization system).

It has taken a lot of back and forth work, and a lot of diagramming and what-if scenarios. But in the end, I really think the system that we have is rather impressive. I also thank heaven that it is being developed in Ruby (forget Rails for the moment). Prior to Ruby, I had programmed in RPG, VBA, Cool: Plex (a CA case tool), PHP (only 3 months!) and Lotus Notes. One thing that was missing from all of these was a tightly integrated unit test suite. Ruby does this, and does it rather well. I'm certain there are test suites out there, but to have it built right into the language's core functions is shear brilliance.

Now, if I write good tests (which is a challenge as well), I can rest assured that my code works how I say it should work. This allows me to more easily pass the tool off and let others poke around with it. And, if a test breaks, its something they should look into. I have never felt so liberated by applying the constraint of testing as much as I can.

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