[TIP] testing: why bother?

Tim Lesher tlesher at gmail.com
Wed Mar 23 09:42:25 PDT 2011

On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 09:06, Alfredo Deza <alfredodeza at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi list,
> I am about to give a presentation about testing in a couple of days and the
> audience is in its majority a
> "we do not write tests" one :(
> If you had to name the single most important reason why you need to write
> tests (or keep up with them) what
> would that reason be?

The analogy I like most is that of making a household budget.  You
don't *have* to make a budget; if you do, you don't *have* to keep it
up to date or respect it.  But it helps you learn your current
(quality/financial) state, and helps prevent you from being surprised
(by regressions/overdrafts).

The reason I like the analogy is because it maps well in the magnitude
axis: if the numbers you're working with (in currency or in code size)
are small, you can often get away without one.  I don't write tests
for every script or utility I create.  But small things rarely stay
Tim Lesher <tlesher at gmail.com>

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