Dropping the no-time-to-test-bomb

Arno van Rossum
17 November 2021

No time to test. The most heard excuse why engineers won’t write automated tests. I’ve heard it from customers and at job interviews as an interviewer and applicant.
To me, it’s identical to a surgeon saying, I don’t have time to wash my hands. Sounds stupid, right?

No time, really?

Chances are you work 40 hours a week. Sounds like time enough. No? Well, you have the time to read this post. Who are you kidding? Not me. Maybe think harder on your arguments.

No time, I asked business

You ask the business if you may write a test? It’s an integral part of your job, don’t you want a bug-free life where you can sleep at night knowing you wrote beautifully tested code?

Do you think the surgeon asks business if he can wash his hands? I am pretty sure he knows how to perform quality surgery, and you should know how to perform quality code. Business doesn’t care how you do it, but if you ask for time, they say no. So next time, just do it.

We have a tester.

I have to admit it; it is nice when somebody holds your hand while working, makes you feel secure when pushing code. It’s great to share responsibility for your code mess, if the tester didn’t see the code break, his fault. Who wouldn’t want that? As an engineer, it’s your responsibility to deliver quality, so be honest, do you really need that tester? Or are you lacking at work?


We have a QA department

Wow, you need an entire department to check on your mess? Impressive. If they are any good, they are integrated into your CI pipeline. Nice. At least now tests break where you do not know what they do. Plus, you wait a long time to get anything to production. Good job avoiding responsibility.

My customer tests

This is like a car mechanic not trying a car after repairs. Who wants to pay for that?! I really hope you are not doing this.

Can you hear me!

Reevaluate your decisions and claim ownership of your work. It is time to write tests. Get good at it, go deep in it, read books on it. Connect to experienced engineers and learn how they do it. You have a responsibility to deliver quality and be the best! It improves your life. You will understand once you’ve become a truly professional engineer.

Be awesome, I believe in you!



You May Also Like

These Stories on Productivity

Subscribe by Email