Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Reading List: Acceptance Testing, Specification by Example

As usual, there are far, far too many topics that interest me than I will likely be able to comprehend.

I'm extremely interested in recent presentations and work from Gojko Adzic.

I'm going to buy his books Briding the Communication Gap and Specification by Example:

You can see Gojko present about these topics in numerous places, including:

Why do these topics interest me? The easy answer is that I find it very painful, both mentally, and physically to endure lapses of communication in projects that lead to lost time, money, or functionality when I know in my heart such problems can be avoided with proper communication.

Scott Ambler has also written extensively about Executable Specifications at http://www.agilemodeling.com/essays/executableSpecifications.htm

These ideas bring together the two aspects of system development that matter most to me:
  • Achieving the correct result for my customer / user
  • Seeing something valuable running
Nothing is more crucial to my sense of accomplishment when building a system than to see the correct result in action.  I know, however, that many teams value "documentation" as a very important communication artifact that serves to mediate between "the business" and "the development team", but I find this to be a source of constant frustration for the very reasons that Gojko lays out. Instead, what is more valuable, and very satisfying, is to execute the documentation, the specification, the requirements in a testable, verifiable way that itself represents real tangible value, not just words on a dead sheet of paper.

Gojko's presentations are excellent and his books look like they will really fill the "gap" in my own arsenal. I am looking forward to devoting significant time to studying these works.

As he explains on his web site, here are the "Key Ideas" in the Bridging the Communication Gap book: