Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 52

Tomorrow I am giving my Lunch and Learn talk! I am actually pretty excited for it, and to begin my research process. There is a lot of knowledge and experience out there, and I want to go grab it all! I got that nice keynote remote app for my iphone, it really helps keep things going smoothly. There is also the option to have speaker notes on your phone, so if you get caught up at any point you can peak down at your remote and get back on track.

Since this is the first, of hopefully many future talks on the Code Sense, it will be a little more on the experimental side. I have created a formula which I think will allow me to gather a lot of important information, and even stir up some debate, but it is still a very fluid concept. I am hoping to get a lot of feedback tomorrow, hear what the guys think, and drastically refine my process to be prepared for the conferences to come.

I apologize for not being more on top of my blogs recently, work at the client site has been rather straight forward recently. Although the feature Micah and I are working on right now is posing some challenges. I actually spent most of the day turning a very complicated cucumber step into a valuable test. The acceptance test was very stand alone, and there were none of its kind before so everything has to been done nearly from scratch. It is also fairly monstrous because, although its purpose is to test only our new feature, its set up is ridiculously complicated.

At first, and this is an issue that really became apparent today, I was going to make all the step definitions to walk through the tasks needed to set up the exact circumstances we were testing. However, this was just catering to our solution. I was going to set up the circumstances in the database to exactly match what we check for. But all this really checks is that our solution does what we know our solution does. This is of course what most unit tests do, but it doesn't work quite the same way with acceptance tests. Thats why there are nice helpers like Webrat that will set up the database by going through the actual steps a user would go through. Thus, I began reworking all the steps to set up our scenario the way it would really be set up in production.

This was much, much more complicated. Creating the scenario to test what we wrote, going the full route, meant that our test had to touch an enormous portion of the code, and exercise a huge conglomeration of classes. I honestly think this is going to be one of the longest, if not the longest, of all the client's acceptance tests. Maybe it should be broken down, or maybe I am missing something, but this is what is required to recreate the circumstances we need to really test the production code.

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