Software Testing Lessons from Extreme Programmers

Elisabeth Hendrickson shares her experiences and lessons learned about how testers can play well and succeed on Extreme Programming (XP) teams. One of the things testers often notice about XP is that there is no defined role for testers on the team. Yet XP teams describe themselves as “test infected”. They practice Test-Driven Development (TDD), writing executable unit tests before writing the code to be tested. Many teams practice Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD), writing executable acceptance tests before implementing a feature. They use continuous integration to give them rapid feedback about the effects of changes. They practice pair programming, a technique that results in all code being peer reviewed before it’s checked in. In short, XP teams test continuously from the very first moment of any given project. You could even call them “test obsessed”.

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