Delaying the Eff-it Moment

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One of the key benefits of testing and TDD is delaying the Eff-it moment.

The Eff-it moment happens when you’re diligently slinging code: writing tests and building modules to satisfy them. One day you do some quick math and realize you’re not going to hit the deadline at your current pace. You quietly declare, “Eff-it, I’m just gonna get it to work”.

You stop testing and start slamming crap in to make your deadline.

This has happened to me. I’ll argue that it happens to just about everyone who attempts any degree of test-driven development.

I think it’s important to see TDD as a way to stave off the Eff-it moment, not it’s executioner.

If you ARE human, and you don’t make it all the way through before you hit Eff-It, don’t be sad. You’re still OK. The tests you manage to write help you and will help others.

This kind of discipline takes nerves of steel. It’s like base jumping (righteous video, btw). You need to trust your tests and stay calm in the face of a rapidly approaching deadline/canyon floor.

Just as trust in equipment is built over time, so is trust in testing. It won’t happen the first time out of the gate. You’ll chicken out eventually, but just keep testing as long as you can.

Each time you’ll learn more, and gain more confidence and trust. Eventually you’ll be doing whole projects with the calm nerves of a seasoned extreme athlete.

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