Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Programming Mantras

The topic of this month's PyGTA meeting was programming mantras. With some groups, this might be a serious discussion of various programming methodologies. But this group is more relaxed, so the discussion was actually fun and lively, maybe even a little silly. :)

It was interesting how many people use methods from XP without realizing it. Or more accurately, XP just uses the methods that programmers have been always used, but in a more formal framework. I know people who have used XP and agile development successfully, but it seems to be too heavy for the small one man projects that are my bread and butter.

The one aspect of XP that I really like, is unit testing. I'm still learning how to write good unit tests, but I already noticed that it increases my confidence that the code I just wrote actually does what I think it does. I found that to write good unit tests, you really need to structure your code so that it is actually testable in small sections. And that's a good thing for your overall design anyway.

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