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Presentation: Manager's Introduction to Test-Driven Development

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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