Informed Test-Driven Development
Informed Test-Driven Development
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Informed Test-Driven Development

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Completed on 2014-06-18

About the Book

Ever thought it would be nice to be able to do TDD like the "gurus" - but unfortunately you weren´t able to pull it off? Ever skipped the refactoring step to continue with the next test case, because you wanted to get functionality faster out of the door? Come on, be honest.

If you´re dissatisfied with your current TDD practice, try the approach describe in this booklet. It adds two simple steps before the well known red+green+refactor. And it answers the question of whether to write white box tests or not.

What you´ll learn is a straightforward and systematic approach to coding over the safety net of tests. It builds on TDD as traditionally taught, but makes explicit what so far has been hidden or even neglected in demonstrations: the thinking behind the solutions. And by making thinking an "official part" of TDD it leads to code with less need for refactoring.

Informed TDD is TDD on the next level. By letting yourself not be surprised by a solution your red+green flow will be less accidental and more top-down. Also your code will be easier to understand, because it will contain abstractions devised during an explicit solution finding step.

This booklet contains blog posts from The Architect´s Napkin bundled up for your reading convenience.

About the Author


Ralf Westphal is a freelance consultant, project coach, trainer, author, and speaker on software architectural topics and team organization.

He is the co-founder of the "Clean Code Developer" initiative to increase software quality.

Ralf is based in Hamburg, Germany. Visit his homepage at or contact him via the Clean Code Developer School, the home of regular in-depth inhouse training and consulting regarding sustainable software development.

Table of Contents

  • The Self-Similar Software Development Process
    • It´s the requirements, stupid!
    • Architecture for qualities
    • Functionality for the problem domain
    • Continuity in designing software on all levels
  • Recursively Descending Test-Driven Development Aided by Thinking
  • Using Mocks to Allow for True Stepwise Refinement
    • “Traditional” TDD
    • Informed TDD (ITDD)
  • Kata “To Roman Numerals”
    • Mocks and TDD
    • ITDD for “To Roman Numerals”
    • Reflection
  • Kata “Bowling Game”
    • 1. Analyze
    • 2. Solve
    • 3. Implementation
    • Analyze (revisted)
    • Solve (revisited)
    • Implementation (continued)
    • Reflection
  • Release Notes
  • About the Author

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