Wow. It has been a little over a year. Time for an update. The last year has been pretty crazy, and I have learned quite a bit. I have not been living under a rock, but as far as the rest of the world is concerned, I may as well have been. Most of my personal time has been focused around figuring out the nature of programming, test driven development, and language. So, time for some reflection.
All code can act as documentation, as long as you know how to read it. A program’s most authoratative and correct documentation is its code. This doesn’t help much when a language is hard to read, but using higher level languages can be a big help. Bash scripts make this pretty cool because the script contents are basically the same thing that you would be writing to accomplish the task.
Writing support code for your application is great. This includes things like deployment and build scripts, development scripts, and environment setup files. Scripts like this provide documentation for your application, besides.
Tests are a type of support code. They are beneficial in that it allows us to test the state of our application during development, and thus avoid bugs an enable refactoring. I learned test driven development in the context of functional and unit tests, but I have since learned that the discussion of testing extends beyond functional and unit tests. Testing the state and behavior of external services, for example, would be very wrong in TDD. Should we ignore writing code to test these though?
There is more to come, but I really needed to get this out there. I’m writing a blog, not a book.