Monday, July 27, 2009

Fuses blowing off is a good thing

Can anyone spot what is wrong with this picture? Look closely - there are no fuse carriers and the lines have been shorted by a thick piece of wire.

Wondering what it means? - When an electric surge happens - there is no fuse that will blow and break the circuit. The surge will go right into the homes and kill all the devices which are On at that time - TVs, bulbs, mobile chargers...

I am not trying to educate BESCOM electricians - they are lazy & crazy and they don't read my blog - but this post is about unit tests.

Last week I answered a questionnaire for a friend of mine who is doing a course work about Agile - one of the questions was - Is it not absurd to write unit tests?

The above picture is the answer to the question. Unit tests are like fuses - they blow up in your build and prevent a blow up in production in future. Commenting out an unit test is like shorting the circuit with a thick piece of wire - like in the above picture.

For eg., when a developer forgets to do a null check - and the failing unit test is not fixed, but instead is commented out - your users will be greeted with a Null Pointer exception on the last screen of a payment page. Imagine how mad your client will be?

Anyway I rest my case - next time when you comment out a failing test - think of that picture - and imagine a surge happening and hitting a 52" Plasma TV showing the last ball of a 20-20 match...pattt...bshhhhhh - and a bunch of hideously laughing BESCOM electricians.

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