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Showing posts from March, 2018

How did you find that bug? Are we sitting comfortably, then I'll begin.

How did you find that bug? - They asked with a sort of puzzled "he dun't thunk like uz" look on their faces. An expression that suggested they were unsure whether to commend the discovery or gather their pitchforks and organise a well overdue witch burning.

Likewise, I now knew why they needed me. The team members were genuinely hard working people trying to build something new and exciting. But they lacked one thing, someone exploring & asking questions - trying to find out new things about their application. Exploring is literally a step into the unknown, and that can be uncomfortable for those not experienced in how to do it well.
So how did I find that bug? It's easy to tell a story of how I tried that particular input value because... Paragraph 3 of v4.6 of the requirements document stated that the user shall indeed on occasion X given input Y in Chrome v62 do... Or spout some other overly verbose explanation of why that broken 'scenario' came to be…

Was there a test for that? No, and there shouldn't be.

The release shipped. For a while, the team felt good. The work was done, the team had achieved something, and that was rewarding. 
Unfortunately for the team, it wasn't long before a problem was found. The Product Owner wasn't happy and had asked was going on down there in the galley, do we need new coders? Better ones? Hipster coders?
After an investigation, some blushes, raised eyebrows and a couple of "Oh... Yeeeah's" they found the cause. A confusion had collided with a bodge, and the result was a mess. Should they write an automated - test for this problem?  An embarrassing mistake or a misstep can make us feel we have to do something. An action greater than a fix is needed. A penitance needs to be performed, to redeem ourselves, to make us right again.
Sometimes the penitence is best spent adding a test for that issue. Especially if writing that test has a low cost, the frequency of the problem occurring is high or the impact of the problem is substantial.