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March 2008

Infinitest v3 Released!

After months of work (and neglecting my blog) Infinitest 3 is finally ready for prime-time. There's been a lot of great improvements in this version, including:

  • Automatic sorting of errors by point of failure, rather than by test
  • New 'zero configuration' launcher
  • Significantly improved test runner performance
  • Regex-based filtering for tests
  • Updated status and error messages

I'm really excited about this new version and I'm looking forward to presenting it at CITCON this week. So, if you're going to be there, look me up.

Continuous Integration Is A Hack

A recent discussion at SD West, revolving around Agile certification and the need for "Agility" metrics, ended up with me standing on a chair and ranting at the entire audience...


When will I learn?

CI is one of many useful practices that Agile developers employ today, but fundamentally, it is a hack. That's because although it's very useful to know that I've introduced a bug 20 minutes after creating it, what I really want is to know the very second that I type the offending line in my editor. CI is just the best that we can do right now, given the technology that is at our disposal.

And that is why I will continue to rant and rail against any "Agile" certification that focuses on practices. As if checking off a list of best practices was the best way to learn and adapt. I'm sure at some point in the future, we will move beyond the need for CI, to something that solves the core problem more effectively. But an "Agile" certification that mandated CI hinders that search, because by adapting to a better approach, you no longer meet the standards of the certification. Inhibiting the desire to adapt and change is the very anthesis of Agile.

Agility is a set of values and principles...and no more. Practices depend on technology and technique, which can (and should) be constantly evolving. Values, on the other hand, address the fundamental issues raised when humans work together to create something, and that is truly what makes Agility worthwhile.