Sunday, November 2, 2008

Technical Practices Turning the Agile Dial to Eleven

Craig Smith and Paul King gave an experience report at Agile 2008 about technical agile practices. They started out with an initial goal of 100% of code coverage for unit test, all production code paired and test driven, minimal design up front with appreciation for when such design made sense, customer focused outcomes, full continuous integration, daily pair rotation, continuous improvements through retrospectives, high levels of automation (installers, vmware instances), and light weight metrics to monitor progress.

Using quality metrics forced team to have a common way of doing things. They tracked duplications, and enforced 0% duplication (4 lines limit). They also tracked method and class complexity & size and kept extremely simple classes and code with approximately 10 lines per method, 80 lines per class.

For testing boundaries used for 3rd party apis, they used an IDE plugin to create static boundaries, used Groovy to automatically eliminate checked exception through a language feature, and used auto boundaries of an interface

To ease the use of mock objects, they built a framework to avoid boiler plate code. They had the IDE convert code into expectations, and used annotation for instance/mock creation.

They implemented auto checking for nulls for public methods and public constructors, auto checking getters and setters, and checked for project wide rules to do with final, equals and hashcode. Other numerous types of classes had further checks for immutable, serializable, data, and domain.

They disposed of interaction based tests. The IDE could recreate them whenever refactoring was required.

They wrapped up by discussing future direction of acceptance-TDD or functional-TDD, evolving how they use TDD and CI (groovy, easyB), leveraging a broader base of testing approaches (jester, AllPairs, Theories, Grids), further using DSL, and further using Groove, or Scala.

This presentation is available on InfoQ at