Sunday, September 28, 2008

Defining the “Unit” in Unit Testing

“Hey, Ben. We just figured out a great way to manage test-driven development and good database design.”, said an enthusiastic developer using Extreme Programming (XP) practices on their project. “Our application is highly data-centric. Therefore, in the first iteration we design the database schema modifications and create tests to validate all of it’s implementation characteristics. The next iteration we build the data access layer and business services on top of the database modifications. This has allowed us to design the database correctly before developing code around the wrong data model. What do you think about this approach?”

Ben is an agile coach who checks in with this team from time to time. He likes the fact that this team has continually looked for improvements in the way they develop software. In this case Ben sees a potential issue and so he asks a question, “What do you deliver to the customer at the end of your first iteration?”.

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