Expressing Interfaces

Mark McSweeny comments on Discovering Interfaces:

While testers work to discover interfaces in programs, developers work to express interfaces. This can be through developing an API, an interface for unit testing, all the way down to the data structures and algorithms you use. Well designed interfaces are testable interfaces, so a tester can tell you whether the interfaces you have expressed are testable or not.

The meeting of the roles through the program is interesting to me. The two meet in the middle of creation and inquiry. Sometimes as testers we forget that there are people behind what we are testing who have poured a lot of effort into the interfaces we are testing. The more testers can supply positive feedback to the developers, the more confidence they can get from their development efforts.

While testers may be satisfied when a program does not fail after they have attempted to make it break, a developer is satisfied when they have solved a problem using technology. Together, there is expression, inquiry, discovery, feedback, communication, and collaboration.

What is interesting with methods such as TDD is that they attempt to combine interface expression and discovery. One attempts to express an interface while also attempting to critique it.