Testing for the Terrified: How to Write Tests, Conquer Guilt, and Level Up

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - 11:00 am11:45 am

Frances Hocutt, Rackspace


Have you ever felt like you “should” be writing tests for your code, but not known where to start? Have you been swamped by subtly different test-driven development tutorials? Do you feel vague guilt about not following “best practices,” but still can't figure out how to get started?

This talk will take a harm-reduction approach to learning automated testing. You’ll find that writing tests simplifies your work so that you can improve your code, reduce debugging time and duplicated work, and eliminate that nagging guilt.

This talk will include:

  • Tests written in the wild, before your very eyes!
  • How to get at the fear of getting started and making mistakes.
  • Ways to start small and work on incremental progress - testing ten percent of your code is infinitely better than testing none.
  • Suggestions for ways to continue growing as a writer of tests - without sorting through that list of tutorials.

Frances Hocutt, Rackspace

Frances Hocutt has taken part in the science-to-tech branch of the great STEM reshuffling. In the process, he’s written, spoken, mentored, and co-founded Seattle’s first feminist hackerspace/makerspace. Frances prefers elegance in science and effectiveness in art and is happiest when drawing on as many disciplines as possible. Frances jumped into F/OSS development with work on standards for the MediaWiki web API ecosystem and expanded into work on MediaWiki and associated Wikimedia-ecosystem contributor tools. He currently installs software on other people’s computers for Rackspace Managed Security’s defensive infrastructure team and enjoys encouraging new programmers. Frances currently lives in an unfortunately catless apartment in Oakland, CA.

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@conference {240842,
author = {Frances Hocutt},
title = {Testing for the Terrified: How to Write Tests, Conquer Guilt, and Level Up},
year = {2019},
address = {Portland, OR},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = oct

Presentation Video