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Test Driven Development: Ten Years Later



In this session, we'll review some of the landmarks in the history of Test-Driven Development and what they tell us about how to develop software; the ideas, techniques, objections, and misunderstandings. We'll talk about our experiences of discovering TDD and what we've learned about how to do it well, how to adopt it, and how to bring it into existing code.


Michael Feathers is a consultant with Object Mentor. He balances his time between working with, training and coaching various teams around the world. Steve was a pioneer of Agile software development in the UK, he has built applications for banks, ISPs, financial data providers, and specialist software companies. He has given training courses in Europe, America, and Asia.

About the conference

QCon is a conference that is organized by the community, for the community.The result is a high quality conference experience where a tremendous amount of attention and investment has gone into having the best content on the most important topics presented by the leaders in our community. QCon is designed with the technical depth and enterprise focus of interest to technical team leads, architects, and project managers.

Recorded at:

Aug 18, 2009

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Community comments

  • stops playing about 2 minutes in

    by Michael James,

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    Got to the word "refactor" -- then quits. Maybe related to spotty hotel internet, but it happened three times in a row.


  • TDD is becoming mainstream

    by Melle Koning,

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    It is clear that software building has changed over the last ten years. Test driven development makes it possible for us to adapt codebases to the needs of our customers and thus oursevels. "Legacy systems are systems that do not have any tests", then surely legacy systems will diminish over time.

    Thanks Michael and Steve for a very good overview of the field.

  • Fascinating topic

    by Olivier Gourment,

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    Great presentation...

    One thing that is missing, I think, is the "discussion/socialization" part of the TDD, designing the tests first - boils down to validating the requirements (as well as drafting the design) before starting implementation. TDD forces you to think and discuss about the requirements (as well as the implementation). That's also a reason why its consistent application brings more quality to the product.

    The first sentence/title summarizes it all, I think. It is about professionalism... Some people proofread their emails before hitting the Send button, others don't. Some people think about what message they want to convey in an email, others still don't even do that (and it may be because of the context rather than the individual). Still others will think about what they want to say and reflect about the best way to do that, it might be an email, it might be a conversation, but they know that even if they can craft the best wording, it is less important than conveying the message (what) rather than focusing on the phrasing (how)... However, isn't it the case that it takes years focusing on the how and becoming an expert at the how, only to realize that the what is, in the end, the most important...

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