Jan 28, 2008  –  Survey on Business Benefits of Unit Testing

Artur Hildebrandt is a MBA student at the University of Liverpool and currently running a survey on the business benefits and risks of unit testing. His goal is to identify and measure benefits software development organizations can gain by actively practicing unit testing. I think it would be great to have more information available to persuade management on the benefits of unit testing so I'm happy to promote his survey. If you'd like to take part his questionnaire available at online.

Jan  8, 2008  –  Crap4j 1.1.6 Released

Crap4j 1.1.6 is out. The new version features historical trends of CRAP metrics, and comparison by similarly tagged projects. Exciting!

Oct 25, 2007  –  Visualizing Complexity and Coverage

At CITCON Europe in Brussels last week one of the sessions I enjoyed was on CRAP4J and other metrics for bad code. (I've put my notes up on the CITCON wiki.) Today Kevin reminded me that Clover has a similar metric for identifying risky code, a tag cloud that uses complexity to size the tag and the coverage level to color it. They have posted a sample using Lucene here. This is a pretty neat looking approach... but honestly? I don't really like it.

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Oct  2, 2007  –  No Software Heuristic for Implementability and Testability

Alberto blogged today about our free tool Crap4J. You might think that the last thing software development needs is another metric, but our goal here was a bit different. We were looking for a metric that would be simple and actionable like the cholesterol index: if you know your cholesterol score is over 200 you know you need to do something, it is a call to action. By the same token, you can't say that just because your score is under 200 that you're healthy. The cholesterol isn't a perfect indicator of health, and yet it is still useful.

Did we succeed in our goal? Check it out and let us know...

(And thanks to the writeup on The Server Side for my title.)

Sep  6, 2007  –  Dream Quote


I have just generated unit tests for some code that would have taken months or years to do manually and I did it in under 30 minutes including registering on your server and waiting for the reply email.

That is truly awesome!"

Getting this kind of feedback is the fun part about having free (as in beer) software up on the web where anyone can try it out. In this case Nick had a great experience with JUnitFactory and let us know with a post to our forum.

Feb 15, 2007  –  Webinar Replay: Business Benefits of Unit Testing

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was going to be part of a webinar with Carey Schwaber of Forrester Research on the Business Benefits of Unit Testing. Well that webinar has now been posted so you can view the replay. You do need to register to view it but if you don't want to hear from us just put in bogus data. (So why ask for it? Because some people do want to hear from us and we're most interested in enabling those people.)

Jan 25, 2007  –  Floyd's Turing Lecture on Paradigms in Software

In light of the recent conversations about the adoption of developer testing on the junit list and Artima, this Turing Award lecture by Robert Floyd seems particularly appropriate. There's a particularly good quote where he is discussing a quote from Thomas Kuhn in "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions."

"Again from Kuhn:
"The older schools gradually disappear. In part their disappearance is caused by their members’ conversion to the new paradigm. But there are always some men who cling to one or another of the older views, and they are simply read out of the profession, which thereafter ignores their work."
In computing, there is no mechanism for reading such men out of the profession. I suspect they mainly become managers of software development. "
I suspect a large number of the adoption problems for developer testing are in organizations where the old boy at the helm is clinging to an outmoded paradigm of software development. Perhaps those guys would listen to Floyd -- (Robert, not Pink.)
Jan 23, 2007  –  Late Notice on Webinar

I've been so self-absorbed with my travel travails that I forgot to mention I'll be part of a webinar tomorrow morning on the Business Benefits of Unit Testing with Forrester anaylst (and seemly very nice person) Carey Schwaber. I had read some of her previous reporting on the build market, because of her mention of CruiseControl, and meeting her in person confirmed what had come across in her reports: she's pretty clueful about the the development market.

So if you're interested in the topic I think it would be worth listening. And don't worry, Carey will be the star of the show -- this time I'm just the vendor shill.

Oct 10, 2005  –  Tests as Double Entry Bookkeeping Uncle Bob gets it just right:
I have been consulting for a number of teams that have adopted Agile Methods, including TDD. One common issue I have found is that developers drop the discipline of TDD in the face of schedule pressure. "We don't have time to write tests" I hear them say. Before I comment on the absurdity of this attitude, let me draw the parallel. Can you imagine an accounting department dropping dual entry bookkeeping because they've got to close the books on time? Even before SARBOX such a decision would be such a huge violation of professional ethics as to be unconscionable. No accountant who respected his profession, or himself, would drop the controls in order to make a date.
Apr 16, 2004  –  Measuring Quality Laurent Bossavit has some interesting thoughts on measuring software quality at bossavit.commore »
Jan 28, 2004  –  That dirty little secret about programmer productivity Bill de Hora reacts to Jon Udell's TDD-article and observes that the 50% of time spent on coding, which the article quotes, would be a number to be proud of. In a non-TDD environment the number ends up closer to 20%. And what is worse: in the non-TDD environment the efforts in the other 80% of time/effort are entirely transient with no lasting assets to benefit from in the future.  more »