Tests are like bicycle helmets

I was listening to the IEEE’s SE Radio podcast the other day while riding my bike to work (ironic as you will see if you keep reading). They were interviewing Ken Youens-Clark who wrote a book called Tiny Python Projects.

You would never put a kid on a bicycle without a helmet, so why teach someone to code without tests?

Ken Youens-Clark

The book was written to introduce beginners to programming in Python. Ken made a point of introducing testing very early on in the book, starting with the first lesson. In the interview, he used the example of kids and bicycle helmets. It would be irresponsible to put a kid on a bike without a helmet, so why do we let beginning coders code without tests?

I think this is a great idea. Start beginners off on he right foot. It reminded me of this post where I talk about how we should stop treating unit testing as a separate activity and make it a part of writing code. Engraining that early seems like the best way to help developers achieve that mindset. Maybe we can convince NI to add it to LabVIEW Core 1.

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