Dan Connolly's tinkering lab notebook

18 Mar 2006

I made a sort of new year's resolution for 2006: no more undocumented, untested code. I like to write little ditties for stress relief, but without docs and tests, the code seems to add to my stress, over time. At my first job out of college, at Convex, management devoted equal resources to coding, documentation, and testing/QA. The more time goes by, the more wisdom I see in that way of working. If the code is worth writing, it's worth testing and documenting.

It's best to write the tests first, and it's good to have use cases in mind, if not documenation written down, before that.

For personal projects, I'm not disciplined enough to write the tests first every time; if the code I write works the first time, I sometimes let myself get away with it. But I'm doing pretty well about doing test-driven debugging, at least. I write tests for any code that doesn't work the first time. And I write tests when I refactor and change things. The confidence to make changes that comes from having tests in place is very freeing.

Recent coding/testing/documenting episodes include: