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Automated Acceptance Testing, The Vietnam of Test Driven Development

A talk by Paul Wilson at RubyConf 2010

About the Talk

November 12, 2010 12:15 PM

New Orleans

New Orleans

Ted Neward's 2006 essay "The Vietnam of Computer Science"[1] famously compares Object/Relational mapping to the Vietnam War: "The United States began a military project with simple yet unclear and conflicting goals, and quickly became enmeshed in a quagmire that ... brought down two governments". The analogy can equally apply to Automated Acceptance Testing: early successes lead to committing to use Cucumber Tests for all stories; more and more resources get spent covering difficult cases and maintaining fragile tests; before you know it your project is bogged down, and you are scrambling for the last helicopter off the embassy roof. In this session I will draw upon a long experience of Acceptance Testing, with Java and FIT before Cucumber. I will present on the goals of acceptance testing, when and how to use them and, as importantly, when not to use them. My aim is to help prevent your Acceptance Test suite turning from an asset into a liability. [1]

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