Good morning, and happy
Sunday Thursday! This week’s edition is a little bit special. My friend Betsy Haibel of Cohere is your guest curator, and she has put together a list of her five favorite testing talks of all time! Here’s the list, along with Betsy’s commentary on why each one changed the way she thinks about testing software.
The Magic Tricks of Testing, by Sandi Metz. A well-deserved classic. Is your test suite brittle? This talk will teach you which tests you need to keep, and which tests you not only can but should delete.
High Cost Tests and High Value Tests, by Noel Rappin. “Very often, the cost of a test and the value provided by that test are incurred by different people.” Practical, data-backed advice on how to implement the “testing pyramid” in a Rails context.
Easy Rewrites with Ruby and Science, by Jesse Toth. Wait, why’s a refactoring talk on this list? This talk is an amazing case study of how Toth rebuilt GitHub’s authentication system from scratch — by learning how to test in production safely.
Please Don’t Mock Me, by Justin Searls. Searls cuts through the thought-terminating cliches we use to defend our feelings about mocking and to talk about failures that following those philosophies off a cliff can give us.
Property-Based Testing for Better Code, by Jessica Kerr. When we expect our tests to deal with occasional failures, we’re forced to ask the hard questions about failure behavior.” This talk gives us strategies for refining our mental model of the problem that are useful whether we’re using property-based testing or not.
Speaking of Betsy, she and her fellow Coherents Jennifer and Zee are offering an awesome new LIVE workshop about Uncomfortable Refactoring on Rails. If you struggle on a daily basis with adding new features to legacy Ruby and Rails code, you need to check this out. It’s coming up in just one week, and tickets are limited so that everyone gets an opportunity to participate. So get your slot while you can! You can sign up here.
(In case you’re wondering, I don’t get any money for promoting their course. Betsy and I have been doing a lot of collaboration lately, and if her stuff does well that makes me happy and indirectly means we get to work together more ?)
Now here’s some stuff I’ve been up to recently:
- This isn’t on a technical topic, but I think it’s highly relevant to a lot of programmers. I wrote up my experience of realizing I had no nearby support system, and intentionally making local friends. Including a breakdown of exactly how each of my current in-person friendships came about. In an industry that still skews towards introverts, and where it’s all too easy to just rely on online relationships, I think this is an important conversation to have.
- For RubyTapas subscribers, I’ve published a new guest episode from Andy Croll about how using a pull request template can make your code review process go a lot more smoothly.
- Not a subscriber yet? Here’s a new freebie from the archives for you: Make big numbers readable in Ruby
Thanks for joining me for BRUNCH. Happy hacking, and see you next week!