You don’t know what you have until it’s gone…

Oh man, I really haven’t posted on this blog for a while. But, I think I should start jotting down more development-related thoughts since there have been some big changes in my life, so here goes!

The biggest change that happened in the year I didn’t write a thing was getting laid off from Microsoft, which has probably been the best thing to happen. I joined a startup called PlaceFull shortly after I was able to be employed again, and within four months, I’ve learned a considerable amount. I’ll discuss a lot of these things at some point, but the biggest thing I’ve learned involved the attitude towards test automation and testers.

Having no test cases is a living hell. Having bad test cases is also a living hell, one that I was constantly subjected to at Microsoft. But I’d take bad test cases over none, because at least some worked.

I recently had to work on a redesign of our site, and delving into the deep parts of our front end has been torture. One of the changes was to rework how we handle our URL routing for SEO purposes, and that code is just a Jenga tower waiting to fall. Of course, I broke parts of our routing, but what made it painful was testing a fix and having to make sure I didn’t break any other part.

Of course, coming from a test background, in my side time I created a small test framework that tests from our front-end (shout out to Selenium!) and a test suite for this area. There’s so much more work to do though. So many areas of the site have been broken for who knows how long, and I’m getting sick of it.

Now, if anyone complains about or tries to devalue tests, I think I need to yell at them. Once you experience a world where you’re doing your testing manually, you’ll come running back. It may be hard to create great, stable tests, but you’ll still have your sanity at the end of the day.