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InfoQ Homepage News Presentation: Manager's Introduction to Test-Driven Development

Presentation: Manager's Introduction to Test-Driven Development

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In this presentation filmed during Agile 2008, Dave Nicolette and Karl Scotland try to introduce non-technical managers to one of the most popular Agile development techniques: Test-Driven Development (TDD). The presentation intends to be a primer for managers who want to understand the value of TDD, and of Agile in general, in software development.

Watch: Manager's Introduction to Test-Driven Development (1h 19 min.)

The presentation starts with Karl showing a simple TDD example used to created an Excel worksheet including some Visual Basic macros. The purpose of this example is to show the difference between a static specification - a piece of paper with some specs - and a working one - code that runs and can be checked for errors.

The audience is then introduced to the various results generated by an increased design debt: increased costs, reduced velocity, raised number of defects, increased time spent on defects, increased support costs.

After demonstrating the value of TDD, Dave gives some advice to managers which do not have the technical skills to drive the implementation of TDD by their development teams:

    • Attend daily stand-up meetings and ask questions
    • Visit the work area and observe the process
    • Ask team members about TDD and how they use it
    • Track the defect curve closely and raise issues

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Community comments

  • Shoddy and Lame

    by Bob Marshall /

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    Poor video production, poorly prepared speakers, and misses the central point of TDD - its role as a design tool.

    Shameful.

  • Original exercise

    by Ole Friis /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    For those who want to see what inspired the two guys:

    www.clarkeching.com/2006/04/test_driven_dev.html

    Personally, though, I think the exercise is too technical for managers, and it's actually a great example of TDD not automatically giving you a neat solution without a lot of sweat (which is how reality works sometimes, unfortunately :-) )...

    I once saw a very convincing presentation of RSpec by Aslak Hellesøy, and I sat next to a very non-technical colleague. She got really excited about TDD (or, rather, BDD) from the presentation, so I think RSpec is a much better platform for such a presentation than Excel/VBScript. Your opinion may differ.

  • Re: Shoddy and Lame

    by Ole Friis /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    I don't agree. I actually think Karl and Dave give pretty good arguments for managers - remember, the target audience is managers, not us technicians. But even though I'm a technician, I can still use the points from the presentation, as I often have to deal with managers and convince them that TDD is the right thing to do.

  • Re: Shoddy and Lame

    by Rafael Guedes /

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    Great presentation! Congratulations!

  • Re: Shoddy and Lame

    by clarke ching /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Bob wrote:
    > Poor video production, poorly prepared speakers, and misses the central point of TDD - its role as a design tool.

    Bob, to be quite blunt: your comment was rude, thoughtless and unhelpful.

    Clarke

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