How TDD Improved My Quality of Life as a Developer


I used to love development. Then, sometime after I started doing it professionally, it really started to ware on me. I had days or weeks where I dreaded coming to the office. After all, I knew what I was going to find there. Bug reports from customers that would force me to dig deep into the bowels of the application, make a change and hope that my fix worked. And really hope that it didn’t break anything else.

Whenever I read old code, I absolutely hated it. Especially if I was the one to write it. It would bring back vague memories of conversations we had about the feature, but they were vague. I wasn’t really sure what the code was supposed to be doing, and reading it didn’t always help.

Then I started practicing Test Driven Development, and it changed how I looked at my job and how I looked at my code. Now I enjoy coming in to work. I sometimes find it hard to leave because I’m making so much progress.  I find myself having features and user stories just fly by, as I’m continually making progress towards the goal line. Even my code has become more readable.

In this talk, we’ll look at how it was that TDD was able to help me achieve that, how it can do it for you, and how, in the end, TDD is about much more than just testing.


Nebraska.Code 2016

CodePaLOUsa 2017


I asked my team what their favorite talk was, and everyone said your TDD talk

— Ryan Stille lead developer @ Conductix-Wampfler


Nate delivered a powerful talk and was great at sharing his personal experiences with an appropriate amount of humor.

— Prairie.Code feedback