No tests!

Apr 5 26 Comments


I ended up at a cool startup, but the CTO, who is currently leading engineering, doesn’t believe in tests: he says they just slow us down and that developers end up spending all their day fixing tests and making code super abstract so that it’s testable, instead of producing new features.

Everyone in the team adapted, so there are basically no tests: people push their code, they manually test it that it works, and move on. Surprisingly, nothing has fallen apart yet.

We use C++ so being statically typed it makes the situation a little bit better than using Python or similar, so even without tests we can refactor a little bit without breaking anything.

I already talked with the CTO about the value of tests and he just firmly said no, he said we will do that stuff when we’ll be a big company with time to waste. (We’re 30 devs now).

Should I just interview and leave?


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TOP 26 Comments
  • Facebook Probe
    Name and shame.
    Apr 51
    • Uber zhdbwb
      Doesn’t Facebook test in production and mostly have no automated tests?
      Apr 5
  • New ajg59
    TIL I could be a CTO.
    Apr 50
  • Google / Eng🍑☁️
    Wew, how the fuck did that guy get hired? Yeah you should interview elsewhere; the company will inevitably fall apart and you don't have enough power to fix it.
    Apr 51
    • Expedia hurr_durr
      This. If the business takes off, the whole thing will implode under its own weight because you won’t be able to support the growth.
      I worked with one such startup where investment and customer interest took off but we simply couldn’t work fast and reliably because of the CTOs choices around testing , and recently had a friend leave an imploding startup for the same reason -they got funding and contracts but couldn’t scale due to tech stack
      Apr 5
  • Goldman Sachs gft
    What the actual fuck
    Apr 50
  • Rubrik / EngCommuting
    30 devs is huge team already. This works fine for 2 or 3 devs but at 30 this is a liability for the team and company future
    Apr 51
    • Google / Othertingo1
      Totally - at 30, this is just going to be unmitigatable disaster when things fall apart.
      Apr 5
  • MobileIron loom
    May be cto boot camp grad ?
    Apr 50
  • Medallia nhbhhhvvd
    Leave. You are already x days late. x = number of days you have been there.
    Apr 50
  • Oracle busan
    Your cto is an inexperienced moron and the company will fail.

    Apr 50
  • Google SergeyBlin
    Seen the same at a big company. If there are no customers then nothing will break. Lol.
    Apr 52
    • OP
      The scary thing is: we have 100 customers and we have currently $8M in ARR
      Apr 5
    • Cadence / Productluna.
      Huge risk. Something doesnt make sense...
      Apr 5
  • You can still write and structure your code so that it's easily testable or made testable later on. I think in some situations this is fine.

    If you strongly believe in tests perhaps you can do it anyway just to show them it doesn't really take that long.
    Apr 50
  • Groupon bzndjl
    With a CTO like that its just a matter of time before the whole thing burns down. Run now
    Apr 50
  • Apple Wapple
    Unpopular opinion here but tests are overrated.
    Apr 51
    • Microsoft ThinkCode
      I agree this happens very frequently. I have seen people writing tests for testing simple assignment statements. These tests never fail unless there is some bug in compiler in which case we have a much bigger problem.
      Apr 5
  • Amazon ;&;&$:5$4&
    It’s fine to just start with acceptance tests at this stage of the product.

    I disagree with no tests. Agree that excessive testing is unwarranted at this stage of the product (regardless of 30 devs).

    Acceptance tests means - end use case testing that is automated and CICD pipeline is gated by that
    Apr 51
  • Microsoft ThinkCode
    Step 1: Let things break and deteriorate till a customer complains at which point throw away and rewrite code from scratch. Goto Step 1.
    Apr 50
  • Wayfair CUpR17
    Are you at Drift?
    Apr 50
  • Twitter aOVK12
    Apr 50
  • Illumio wlaK72
    Apr 50
  • eBay 0419
    Spend some time looking at the code base. Do you see some obvious/non obvious bugs that tests might have found? If there is many, point it out to cto and if still disagrees, move on. If not, may be he has a point?
    Apr 50
  • Synchrony ————
    If you have dev number more than 1, then you'll need test.
    Apr 50

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