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Agile 2009 Proposal: Continuous Testing Evolved

Soviet vs American Coupling

If you've worked on projects of any reasonable size, you know that managing dependencies is an very important part of software maintenance. However, the terms used to describe coupling between packages, efferent and afferent coupling, sound so much alike that I can never remember which one is which. So, I don't use those names...I have my own naming convention.

Yakov Smirnoff was well known in the 1980's for jokes using the following template:

In America, you [verb] [noun]
In Soviet Russia, [noun] [verb] you!

Hilarious.

I use this now popularized meme to differentiate between the two basic types of coupling, like so:

In America, you depend on other classes
In Soviet Russia, other classes depend on you!

So American Coupling equates to efferent coupling, while Soviet Coupling is the same as afferent coupling. When using these cold-war era terms to analyze a particular class or package, I never get confused about which sort of coupling is which. I just think of Yakov and all becomes clear.

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