For the uninitiated, TDD = test driven development.

Now that I am beginning to work on back end development, in Ruby, I have been introduced to Test Driven Development by Bloc’s curriculum.

I must say, so far I am intrigued by the concept of TDD. As someone coming from the other side of the fence being a business analyst responsible for testing new implementations (read: breaking things), I can appreciate the idea of integrating a test driven development environment.

My mentor from Bloc says it’s one of those things that developer teams all love in theory, but suck at implementing in practice.

At the moment, I’m working with rspec and following examples of how to implement tests for simple pieces of code. In a way, it really helps you think about your code in modular terms, achieving singularity. I can definitely see some drawbacks too though. What if some of your code doesn’t account for some scenarios you didn’t conceive of, but your users manage to find? What about accidental false positives?

Overall, I find it more useful to try and work with than not implement at all. After all, a lot of our job as developers is not just creating new pieces of cool software, but also fixing bugs as they come. Some foresight and integrating tests that determine how a piece of the software should function is a good approach.

Now to see how well I can continue this practice and integrate tests going forward…

Note: The current mini project I’m working on to get Ruby + TDD skills is a simple address book app. It works through the terminal with a menu interface. I think it’s a neat approach at teaching back end. I’d love to give this a shot with node.js when the time comes 😀