A tale of two features
One of the larger companies I was consulting with was starting to implement the idea of unit testing into their process. Before they went all in they went on a pilot project. The pilot project consisted of a group of developer tasked with adding a new feature to an existing large application. The company’s main livelihood was in creating this large application and then customizing parts of it for various clients. It was a billing style application and the company had thousands of developers around the world.
The following measures were taken to test the success of the pilot:
* Test the time it took to go through each of the development stages for the team
* Test the overall time it took for the project to be released to the client
* Test the amount of bugs found by the client after release
The pilot was measured against a similar feature made by a different team for the same client, with almost the exact same feature size (these were both customization efforts of the product for two different clients – one was with unit tests, the other was without).
Table 1 shows the differences in time:
Table 1: Team Progress and output measured with and without tests