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Showing posts from December, 2013

It may take two to tango, but it takes four to CI...

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One of the most common conversations that I have with clients is about continuous integration (CI) - the discipline of pulling together work done as often as possible, usually after code checkin to verify that the project is still on track (ie "it works").

So how many environments do you need in order to get real benefit from CI? Unfortunately the answer is a fuzzy "It depends...". But I always recommend at least 4 for safety/effectiveness. The good news is that if you do it right, downstream environments are relatively cheap to add as the need arises.




(I have lost track of how many times I have drawn this diagram in various forms for clients, both in formal training and informal conversations. I am quite glad that I have finally managed to capture it onto one A4 sheet!)

So what have we got here?

Build & unit test
This is the initial stage, normally triggered by a developer checking code into a version control system. It checks out the code in its entirety and build…

There is no such thing as "Pragmatic BDD"

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I practice, teach and coach Test Driven techniques. Test Driven Design (i.e. using unit tests), Behaviour Driven Development, I use them all on an almost daily basis. I find them useful since they help me do my main job of delivering software. Yet once in a while I am asked whether I could be more "pragmatic" and less "purist" over Test Driven Development and Behavioural Driven Development techniques. I always find this an odd request, especially when I have been brought in as the subject expert to teach a company, or as a lead developer with a solid grounding in these subjects. But maybe this is not obvious to some, especially those who have never used the techniques correctly - or at all. This article looks bit deeper into the request, and see why I am totally nonplussed by even the idea.

Firstly, what does TDD and BDD (arguably the "pure" version of them) usually look like? To me they look like closely related cousins, which makes this brief summary sim…