A few weeks ago, we talked with Postwork CEO, Sune Palsgaard as his studio’s latest game, “Fremtidens Landbrug” (The Future of Farming) had just won the European CAP Communication Award. Today, we bring some of his thoughts on programmers that don’t test their code, and what the advantages of testing properly are!
For Palsgaard, the issue of working with developers who don’t test their code properly was so large during the development of “Fremtidens Landbrug” and other projects he has worked on that he points to poorly-tested code as the ultimately worst nightmare for any project manager.
“As a project manager and creative designer (both on the visual side as well as the content side), my main problem has been developers and their ability to NOT test their code. Usually what happens is that the developer writes his code and tests it once, doing only what is needed to test if his code works. Happily, he sends me a message saying “done” with a happy smiley. It works – I’m happy. One step closer to finishing.”
Sounds great, right? Well, that is only until you start scratching the surface, Palsgaard explains. “When I then start testing it using other browsers than the developer was working in, testing the UI as a young and aggressive student would use it, or simply try to do things users might do if they didn’t understand the initial UX intentions, I find loads of major errors.“
“So many times I have dreamt and hoped that developers would be much more creative when testing, and so many times I have cursed them because they seem to skip the boring part of developing.”, Postwork CEO, Sune Palsgaard says.
While many large studios have their own team of testers to ensure that everything is working smoothly, that sort of setup is simply not financially suitable for smaller studios and indie developers, Palsgaard continues. “Now, bigger houses has testers to do this work, and I wish we had too, but being on a tight budget without such luxury, I have had the ‘pleasure’ of spending every night for one year writing mails to developers about errors they might have found themselves before saying ‘done” – smileyface.”
“We would gladly pay more money for a developer with good testing skills.”
And when developing a browser-based game, such as “Fremtidens Landbrug”, the issue only gets even more visible. “It didn’t help that the developers only tested the obvious code and didn’t test cross-browser or tested it like a young ADHD kid, clicking every button on the screen. Then we would spend hours testing finding new errors that had been generated”, he says to Nordic Game Bits.
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“I’m saying this to have upcoming developers acquire the necessary skills”, Palsgaard explains as he emphasizes that his point is in fact to send a strong message to game developers in the Nordic.
If you test your code, you will simply be recognized as a better developer by the company who hired you / you work for. In the end, if you want to be among the best, you have to be able to test your code extensively. It’s a skill that you have to acquire, and if you know how to do it, many will gladly pay extra for the work you deliver.
“As a project manager and designer I can only emphasize to all developers that wants to be among the best (and who does not work in an environment with access to testers), that testing your code is a skill, and it’s not to be taken lightly. We would gladly pay more money for a developer with good testing skills.”