Yes, that Kent Beck. I’ve been very fortunate to have Ken Bauer as my professor this semester, and one of the cool things about him is he knows a bunch of cool people, including Kent Beck. So we had a very cool session with him, and it was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had in my student career. I just wanted to talk briefly about that, but let’s get on with the topic.
Simple things are often great things, and test-driven development does a lot of small things that inspire confidence. One of the first things I was taught in my Data Structures was how to solve certain problems using recursion, and one of the key giveaways that I got from that lecture was how recursion focused on splitting a big problem into smaller fragments, thus making the problem easier. TDD is similar in that we can use it to create massive systems and divide them into smaller tasks. By solving smaller tasks, which we call tests, our code usually is much cleaner than solving a chunk of stuff.
Keep it simple, stupid, is an awesome principle that is used in TDD, and I actually think it applies to a bunch of stuff in life, but I guess I’ll talk about that in another blog. Simplicity is elegant, and when you reach elegant solutions to big problems, life can be pretty good.
Another cool stuff about TDD is how code keeps improving all the time. There is literally a step for refactoring code that tells you exactly what to do to make your code more clean, more elegant. And in an industry where programmers are judged by how clean their code is, following the steps that TDD lays out is a great way to develop cleaner solutions.
Look, I could go on and on about all the great things about TDD. Heck, there’s even a whole benefits section in the Wikipedia for Test-driven development. That’s nuts! The influence that this way of doing development in the industry is huge, it’s everywhere, and it has a reason to be everywhere. When things are done right, it’s something incredible.
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