Learning new programming languages and technology makes TDD and BDD hard (for me)

Today I find myself struggling. I have always been a backend server developer, c++, java, c# developer. I am trying to learn web development and mobile (web) development. I have never done any web development with javascript, html, css and that kind of stuff.

For over fifteen years I am a big fan of TDD and BDD. What I want is to development an application for a friend using Ruby on Rails for the backend server development and using Sencha Touch for the mobile web application. One of the reasons I stayed away from web development for a long time is the vast amount of technologies involved. As an eXtreme Programmer I love the idea of keeping things simple and I just never saw how the web development world was keeping things simple. And as a matter of fact this event of wanting to develop a web application for a friend has reminded me in not such a gentle way that this has basically never improved over the past ten year. I believe it only got worse.

Anyway… this is not what this blog is about. Forget about my whining about web development.

This blog is about an interesting phenomena that I ran into the last few weeks. While learning new programming languages, scripting languages and what else I find myself thinking time and again that it is just much easier and much faster to just write the damn code than to fiddle around and writing a proper unit test and applying TDD and BDD. Not only do I have to learn the language I also find myself struggling and learning how to write test for the new languages and technologies I am using.

This makes me wonder if this is a similar experience most people learning TDD and BDD have when they are completely new to these concepts. This probably even worse when you’re actually not an expert in the programming language that you have to use for your work.

I consider myself quite an expert on TDD, but I find myself struggling doing TDD in the new environment that I am working in. I am simply overwhelmed by the vast amount of other things I also need to learn.

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