August 31, 2008

...Learn TDD with Codemanship

The Holy Grail of Realtime Feedback

The Holy Grail of software development is to find a way to directly connect the code we write to the business goals of our projects.

I've blogged before about a possible future where, as we type in the code, dials in our IDE flicker and present us with immediate feedback about higher issues like code complexity and dependency management, in the same way they currently do about syntactical correctness.

I'm finding it useful as a thought experiment to imagine what it wold be like if our IDEs could give us immediate feedback about the value of the code we're writing and the total cost of ownership it could potentially have.

Imagine that as I literally type in the code, dials tell me if I'm adding or subtracting value from the software and whether I'm adding or subtracting to the burden of of ownership. And squiggly blue underlines point me to problem areas while little messages pop up when my mouse hovers over them to steer me towards more valuable and/or cheaper code.

It's nonsense, of course. The kind of thing that pipe dreamers would poo-poo as cloud cuckoo land.

But it is just a thought experiment. And the goal of the experiment is to try and understand what kind of analysis we could do as part of the background compilation process that could possibly produce that kind of feedback.

Because if we understood that, then I suspect we will have learned something profoundly useful about software development.

Posted 9 years, 5 months ago on August 31, 2008