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Friday, September 23, 2005

Unit testing is teh suck, Urr.: "Most programmers don't know how to test their own stuff, and so when they approach testing they approach it using their programming minds: 'Oh, if I just write a program to do the testing for me, it'll save me tons of time and effort.'

There's only three major flaws with this: (1) Essentially, to write a program that fully tests your program, you need to encapsulate all of your functionality in the test program, which means you're writing ALL THE CODE you wrote for the original program plus some more test stuff, (2) YOUR PROGRAM IS NOT GOING TO BE USED BY OTHER PROGRAMS, it's going to be used by people, and (3) It's actually provably impossible to test your program with every conceivable type of input programmatically, but if you test by hand you can change the input in ways that you, the programmer, know might be prone to error."


This is a pretty good post on testing which can be applied more broadly. People are so into processes an procedures that they miss the plot. I just think you can never say enough about simplification and focusing on what is important. Everything else is a waste of time.

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