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Re: [XP] write customer tests first

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  • Joshua Kerievsky
    ... Is that a downside? Or is it like saying that one strong downside of unit tests (a.k.a. Programmer tests) is that people tend to use them like storytests
    Message 1 of 35 , Nov 1, 2004
      J. B. Rainsberger wrote:

      >One strong downside to this approach is a tendency for some people to
      >confuse the goals of Customer Tests with Programmer Tests. Programmer
      >Tests are meant mostly to test individual objects against collaborating
      Is that a downside? Or is it like saying that one strong downside of
      unit tests (a.k.a. Programmer tests) is that people tend to use them
      like storytests (a.k.a. Customer tests) when they just don't know

      >Boundary conditions, exceptional conditions, these should
      >all be covered with Programmer Tests. Customer Tests are meant to be
      >examples of how the features will be used and should behave, and so
      >perhaps are not the best vehicle for doing all kinds of testing
      >(boundary conditions, exceptional conditions, load, performance,
      Isn't that too strict? In practice, I see more of a mix. For example,
      some boundary conditions help define essential boundaries of a story and
      clarify those boundaries for people within a project community. Other
      boundary conditions aren't useful to expose in storytests, so unit tests
      provide a better place to express them.

      >If one writes the Customer Tests first and stops there, one
      >runs the risk of essentially writing highly-detailed end-to-end tests,
      >which suffer from the combinatoric explosion problem that Programmer
      >Testing techniques like interface richness and test isolation are
      >designed to avoid.
      Can you give an example?

      >Aside from that, I haven't seen serious problems with writing Customer
      >Tests first.
      What problems have you run into when you haven't written them first?

    • Amir Kolsky
      Yup Amir Kolsky XP& Software
      Message 35 of 35 , Nov 6, 2004

        Amir Kolsky
        XP& Software

        >-----Original Message-----
        >From: Kent Beck [mailto:kentb@...]
        >Sent: Sunday, November 07, 2004 6:16 AM
        >To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: RE: [XP] write customer tests first
        >I misunderstood you. My mistake. What I hear you saying now is
        >that if people are unhappy on an XP team there are serious
        >consequences. Is that accurate?
        >Kent Beck
        >Three Rivers Institute
        >> -----Original Message-----
        >> From: Amir Kolsky [mailto:kolsky@...]
        >> Sent: Friday, November 05, 2004 11:32 AM
        >> To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
        >> Subject: RE: [XP] write customer tests first
        >> I said: "You cannot have members of your community unahppy in XP, at
        >> least not for long." It is a matter of fact that some people
        >might be
        >> unhappy as a result of someone's actions, be it you or someone else.
        >> For example, if some new guy gets hired and he happened to sit by a
        >> CRT screen when everyone else has LCD, he'll probably be
        >unhappy. But
        >> that's acceptable. The tradeoffs between reality and happiness are
        >> always there... However, you cannot have any single member of your
        >> community unhappy for a long time as this will cause your team to be
        >> inaffective, or that person to leave.
        >> One of the worse things you can do is alienate your customer.
        >> Especially if that customer is one of many (which is
        >something that we
        >> have ran across recently). If a customer is consistently ignored he
        >> will be unhappy. You have to indulge that customer in the planning
        >> game (as the lead customer, that is) or he might turn
        >against you. In
        >> our case a customer was trying to do things the XP way (from his
        >> perspective) which went against the wish of another major player. He
        >> lost every time. Eventually he started to voice concerns that the
        >> whole project is going to fail. We had a tough time (As
        >> coaches) to make people understand that even though what he
        >asked for
        >> might not be the *exact* right thing to do next, it was the
        >> politically correct thing to do, and since this calmed
        >things down in
        >> the group, it had business value.
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