Saturday, September 6, 2008

XP without TDD?

I've been reading a lot of articles and presentations about the state of "agile" adoption. One that caught my attention was "Just Ship, Baby". In it Kent Beck writes:
I had an idea for another little tool yesterday. I wrote it without any tests, just to remind myself that I could still program without a net if I had to. I really didn’t like the feeling of not having any tests, especially when the algorithm got hairy. I’m not sure my code works in all cases. But you know what? I shipped. Turns out it isn’t that cool of an idea, and I’ll drop it. Total cost for that answer—3 hours.
What no TDD? At first, I was appalled but after reflecting on it, it seemed all he did was spike a solution in three hours, which I believe that is a perfectly healthy agile practice. However, this article like many other presentations is a sign that the "agile" community is undergoing a transformation.
No less than ever are we willing to dive in head first to make an impact. I once thought that we were a small band of engineers trying to save ourselves from the waterfall only to find that in the end we are producing waterwheels. How did this happen?

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