Test-Driven Career Development

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Going up the stairs

Working on a startup is the new graduate school–you learn a lot, and you hope it will pay off someday.

I’ve learned a ton from my startup experiences, but I’d like to share one of the most important concepts to which our software engineers recently introduced me. It’s called Test-Driven Development – and it contains a kernel of wisdom for anyone seeking to develop their career-related knowledge and skills.

New Approach To Building

Humans have been building things for millennia, and there’s been a standard approach:

  • Step 1: Think about what you want.
  • Step 2: Build it.
  • Step 3: See if it works.

Simple, right? And yet it’s fairly dumb, because you don’t know if ‘it’ works until you’ve already put in the time, the energy, and the expense to build it. If it doesn’t work, you’ve wasted all three.

Enter some smart software engineers, who in the last 10 years have popularized a New Approach to Building Stuff, which goes as follows:

  • Step 1: Think about what you want.
  • Step 2: See if it works.
  • Step 3: Build it.