Sunday, April 3, 2011


I'm not your business blogger. Jack Yoest has that title wrapped up.

But, there are some things I've learned over the years that I wish more people would learn. Particularly when I tell them, and a situation happens that proves my point, and they still won't do it.

For example, testing.

When you work on a project, it's not done until you test it.

That may seem obvious to you, but really, it's not obvious to some people. Or not as important to some people.

I've run into people who write code, and then never fully test it. They'll do a half-ass job of testing. Or when they do a decent job of testing, find a problem and fix it, they won't fully re-test.

I try to tell people that testing is important. It's at least as important as any other part of development.

Then, one day, I thought of an example that seems to have clicked. I told them this story, and it was like a light went off.

I told them about December 17, 1903.

You should already know that's the day the Wright Brothers made their first flight.

What's that got to do with anything?

Well, think about it.

That first flight was the test.

Sure, they did lots of other tests, but there was a problem and they made adjustments. They did that over the years before 1903, using gliders. And, when they added an engine, they did lots of tests. On December 14, they actually flew ... for 3 seconds. That wasn't a true flight, because it wasn't long enough to allow for any kind of maneuvering. Then there was the crash.

So, the test wasn't a complete success, and they made adjustments.

Three days later, they tried again. This time, they flew.

The first flight was 12 seconds and covered 120 feet. The next two flights went 175-200 feet. The fourth flight, around noon, was 852 feet over 59 seconds.

What's the big deal about this history lesson?

Those flights on December 17, 1903 ... were test flights. Tests.

And don't forget that on October 14, 1947, test pilot Capt. Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier. Test pilot. Doing testing.

The first powered flight was a test.

The first faster than sound flight was a test.

Many events that you think of as milestones in history were tests.

Testing is important. That's why, whether you ever thought about it or not, it's the tests that make the history books.


  1. Will there be a test afterwards?


  2. I like to think that every blog post I've ever written was a test :-)


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