In defence of unit testing

Bill Moorier says that unit testing is one of the least useful forms of testing. His thesis boils down to, basically, "unit testing checks a bunch of things you already know aren't wrong", because you've already written the tests. He says stuff like good logging, systems monitoring, and user reporting tools are significantly better at finding bugs. And he's right, but that doesn't mean unit testing is a waste of time. Unit testing doesn't help you find bugs very often, it prevents you writing bugs in the first place. I'm not an advocate of writing unit tests in advance of the software: the system changes and evolves as you build it, so unit tests you wrote at the start would be unlikely to work with the software you eventually ended up with. However, I'm a big fan of writing unit tests at the same time as your software. Every function or module you write, create a test for it to make sure it's done. This has a bunch of nice side-effects: Each module is at the very least smoke-tested The tests act as...
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Journalism is dead

There's a lot of talk about the financial death of newspapers, as the advertising-supported online model fails to support them. Some are speculating that premium papers like the New York Times could switch to a paid model for premium content. The assumption here is that newspapers have something of value -- quality journalism -- that is worth paying for, or at least paying premium ad rates on. I don't think that's true. Newspapers are dead, because journalism itself -- journalism as a career, being a fulltime reporter -- is on the way out. Here's a reporter's job: Be nosy Find out what people are talking about Find the people who know about that topic. Specifically, the chatty ones who like talking to reporters. Chat to them, and write down what they say Tell everybody else what they said Get paid Here's how blogs work: The internet is full of nosy people Bloggers read other blogs, and blog about the interesting things on them Internet searches find the blogs of people who know about that topic....

I don't get no respect

We are discussing favourite movies. Me: Actually, I really liked Clueless. Him: Ohmygod yes! I love that movie! Me: We should totally watch that again. It's got Paul Rudd in it. Mmmm. Him: Paul Rudd? Really? He doesn't seem like your type at all. Me: You're right, he's not. But still, I would totally do him. I guess everybody has their exception. He smiles meaningfully in my direction.
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