When should you test?

When it provides value.

When is that?

It depends.

I wish it were simpler than “it depends” but this is unfortunately the truth.

Our profession isn’t surgery. It isn’t engineering. It isn’t painting. It isn’t sculpture. It isn’t carpentry. It isn’t woodworking. It isn’t construction. It isn’t house building. It isn’t architecture.

Our profession is all of these things and none of these things. It’s highly standardized and it’s highly customized. It’s rigid and it’s malleable. It requires creativity and it requires homogeny. It needs discipline and it needs chaos.

When we talk about professionalism in our industry, we first have to accept that we work in an extremely unique profession unlike any other out there. While we can take lessons from other industries, we can’t draw direct comparisons or conclusions.

Which is why in our profession, unlike so many others, the most appropriate (and admittedly most frustrating) answer for many questions is “it depends”.

Serialization madness, Unicode edition