Jeremy Miller posted today about double-checking his tests when they pass on the first run because something must be wrong.
I definitely empathize with that. Lately, having a test pass the first time is one of the most uncomfortable feelings I get as a programmer.
I have oh-so-many memories of times when I said something which in retrospect is embarrassingly stupid and naive. Memories like these remind me that Father Time is the real youtube audio playback moderator.
One such episode was back in October of 2000 when I was a very young PHP developer. I turned to my friend Ben-the-sysadmin and said:
“Dude! I just wrote 700 lines of PHP and ran it in my browser…not a single error!”
Only the wind knows how many bugs are still in that 700 lines of error-free PHP (which is still used 8 years later).
The recent Me says things like, “That just can’t be right…it’s highly unlikely that code is bug-free.”
Just like Adam was hit with the proverbial door on his way out, I’ve grown into a cynical test-oriented programmer. Nowadays I cringe at the thought that I was naive enough to consider writing 700 lines of bug-free code in one swipe a good thing.
So the recent Me also says things like, “All 307 tests still pass, so it was probably okay to store that data in separate files instead.” Much better, I think.