George Lively joined our LitheSpeed Livestream on March 28th at 12pm ET.


Agile Teams are frequently encouraged to adopt Test Driven Development (TDD), yet the mental shift required, especially for those unaccustomed to writing unit tests, poses a significant challenge. This talk proposes a strategic shift towards focusing on good unit testing practices, guided by the FIRST principles. By prioritizing quality unit tests, teams can prevent regressions and deliver higher-quality products.

I. Why is TDD hard?

  • Discuss the challenges faced by teams in adopting Test Driven Development.
  • Highlight the mental barriers and misconceptions hindering TDD adoption.
  • Emphasize the need for an alternative approach to ease the transition.

II. Why we should focus on good unit tests

  • Present the research-backed argument that bad unit tests are nearly as detrimental as having none.
  • Stress the importance of unit tests beyond code coverage metrics.
  • Illustrate how good unit tests contribute to preventing regressions and ensuring a high-quality product.

III. Strategies for adopting FIRST principles in unit testing

  • Introduce the FIRST principles (Fast, Isolated, Repeatable, Self-validating, and Timely).
  • Provide practical strategies for incorporating these principles into unit testing practices.
  • Share real-world examples to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed strategies.

By the end of the talk, attendees should:
– Understand the challenges associated with TDD adoption.
– Recognize the importance of good unit tests beyond mere code coverage.
– Be equipped with practical strategies for implementing the FIRST principles in their day-to-day development activities.


George Lively is LitheSpeeds VP of Emerging Technologies. George has two decades of experience in Agile Software Development, concentrating heavily on Extreme Programming (XP), Scrum, SAFe, TDD, CI/CD, and DevOps. He has managed, mentored, coached, and trained Agile teams, serving in many capacities such as TechnicalLead, Scrum Master, Agile Coach & Trainer with a focus on developing people and improving how teams work together using agile methods to achieve desired results. As a software craftsman and adept practitioner of agile development practices, George has helped organizations and teams realize business value quickly and with high quality, and a high degree of customer satisfaction.

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