Audio: AFH 016: Are You Mocking My Unit Tests?

April 30th, 2019

[ ] Book: 7 Languages in 7 Weeks - Bruce Tate

[ ]Book: The Language of Emotions - Karla McLaren

[ ] Book: The Art of Empathy - Karla McLaren




Ryan Ripley (@RyanRipley) Amitai Schlair (@schmonz) and Arlo Belshee (@arlobelshee) covered one of the most diverse agendas ever covered on the podcast.

We started with a discussion about scaling agile, the limitations of frameworks like SAFe, LeSS, and DaD.

We then moved on to the limits that consistency puts on innovation and how tuning consistency can be a serious competitive advantage.

However, this is complicated task because “anytime we are going for consistency we are necessarily hurting innovation in that same space.”

Next we discussed the controversial topic of refactoring vs test driven development (TDD).

Arlo described his views on the differences between the two skills and ways that teams can work to refactor their designs safely – with tools – so that the code can then be come testable using TDD practices.



On the TDD side of the discussion the group agreed that “a unit test that uses mocks is not a unit test.”

Mocks are a smell that can reveal design issues within your code.

Arlo also provided ideas about how to work without mocks and improve designs.

Finally, we covered hiring people for emotional intelligence instead of skills.

If smart, inquisitive people can be taught programming and other related skills quickly (~6 months) then what advantage does hiring for skills really bring to a team?

Couldn’t it be better to hire for empathy and culture first if skill are cheap to grow…especially in a pair/mob-programming environments?

The answers to these questions and how this mindset shifts hiring led to an interesting conversation about how such thinking can help companies build innovative and effective teams.


Resources, Plugs, and More


  • No plugs from me this week. Just a big thank you to the listeners for your feedback and support!





> I think this set me on the path of Karla McLaren and Book: The Art of Empathy - Karla McLaren