Test-Driven Development for C or C++ Training | Remotely Delivered via Web-meeting

This training course helps you build knowledge, understanding and skill in the engineering practices needed to build great C or C++ code. You learn how to build flexible and modular software with very few defects, software that can have a long useful life. We teach you skills to help prevent defects and keep code clean for a long and useful life.

Is TDD right for you? Do you answer "yes" to any of these questions?

Do you think debugging is a natural part of programming?

Congratulations, you are practicing Debug-Later Programming! -- Don't put it on your resume yet. Let's compare Debug-Later Programming next to Test-Driven Development.

The problem with Debug Later Programming is that the mistakes go unnoticed. It may take days, weeks or months to get back to the developer. By then so many changes have been made that there is often no clear root cause. The programmer's only recourse is to start debugging.

How long does it take to find to cause of a bug? In general, that is an unanswerable question. You've had releases held up for defects. You've jettisoned valuable features because of defects. Debugging, an inherently unpredictable activity, can destroy the most carefully crafted plans. Bugs are expensive. They can put you out of business. They can cost you your reputation.

In comparison, with TDD there is immediate feedback. For new code, mistakes are put in your face. For the future (tomorrow and beyond), the tests provide a safety net, so that when the changes roll in, your tests immediately tell you of unintended consequences. This immediate notification helps prevent bugs. Not all bugs, of course, but most of them.

TDD helps prevent defects! You'll discover that with TDD you can detect your mistakes and fix them moments after you make them. The payback is in the initial release, as you waste less time chasing bugs, and you check something in that actually works! You'll later see other benefits you get from test-driving.

This course is a good option for individuals trying to sharpen skills, or small teams where an on-site class is not a good fit. It is also a good way for your team to get started and to know us better.


Are you tired of chasing bugs?

Test-Driven Development (TDD) helps you prevent defects by putting mistakes in your face as you work. It's humbling and worth it. TDD will save you hours and days of aggravation. With TDD you work in a tight feedback loop, adding a failing test, then writing just enough code to pass the test. This cycle continues as you exercise and confirm each path through the code.

This probably sounds backwards or crazy. You will find it is an effective and natural way to work. As a bonus it's rewarding and fun too!

With TDD, development and test automation are part of every day. Each iteration you add new features and capabilities. The tests form a safety net that notifies you when your code no longer meets the specification designed into each test.

For more information about how TDD can save you from the defect chase, read The Physics of TDD.


Are you frustrated with deteriorating code?

Code change is inevitable. But how do you make changes to code that ensure the design stays clean? The test safety net, woven with TDD, allows you to safely refactor your code and keep your system from deteriorating. You will learn to identify code and design problems, envision better solutions, and keep your code working during the transformation.


Did you know it is easier to keep a system working, than to fix it after your break it!



Our courses will help you learn the critical skills needed confidently evolve existing code without introducing new problems. See my 2016 Agile Technical Conference Talk, Refactoring: Three Critical Skills. You can find the slide deck here.


Is your schedule tight and you don't have hardware to test your code?

It is so natural for embedded developers to live with this pain. When hardware and software are concurrently developed, too often hardware is delivered late in the development cycle. A miracle is expected when the two come together. But there are no miracles in this line of work. If you rely on your target as the sole vehicle to test your code, get ready for pain and delays.



James first saw Test-Driven Development in 1999. His jaw dropped! Could TDD could help relieve the pain caused by the target-hardware bottleneck? Could we get code working in an off-target test environment before hardware is ready?!

James lived with the pain for the first twenty years of his career. No more though, and you don't have to either.

Our courses will help you learn to design for test. You'll have more than testable code, you'll have tested code! You'll see how TDD and off-target testing can help you break the target hardware bottleneck. You'll separate your core product behavior from hardware implementation details. Nearly for free you get future portability helping your code have a long and useful life.

Read more about progress before hardware here.


Are Scrum and Agile painful for you?

Scrum and agile have quickly become the status quo in many companies. Agile's short delivery cycles can seem disruptive and chaotic, particularly for those of us who grew up on waterfall. Many companies ramped up by training a few scrum masters, leaving the developers to just "figure it out" on their own.

Adopting iterative management, planning, and delivery -- and not investing in iterative engineering -- is a recipe for pain.

What is your pain level?



Can you spot these common symptoms of agile-done-poorly?

  • Iteration / sprint deliveries are more often missed than completed.
  • Developers feel rushed and micromanaged.
  • Developers feel pressured to deliver a poorly engineered product.
  • Code quality suffers.
  • Morale is low.
  • Releases are missing key features.

Want to stop the pain? The road to recovery can begin by attending our training. As you grow your iterative engineering skills you'll move the pain needle toward the green end of the spectrum. Adding iterative development to your skills can do more than just relieve pain, you'll enjoy developing even more.

With Wingman Software, you'll learn the engineering techniques needed to deliver working products with long useful lives. You'll start on a path to a more enjoyable career doing the things you like most: solving problems, programming, and delivering useful products. You'll also avoid the pain of delivering defects, debugging, and low morale.



If you answered yes to any of these questions, we can help.

Many developers before you have had those pains relieved by learning and practicing TDD. TDD can help you and your team deliver better software faster.

This course is a good option for individuals trying to sharpen skills, or small teams where an on-site class is not a good fit. It is also a good way for your team to get started and to know us better.

Remote Delivered Training

  • Three consecutive days, four to five hours each day.
    • With additional video and exercises each day.
    • One hour of required material to prepare each day.
    • Six month access to available lecture and demonstration videos.
  • Ask us about adding a private four-hour Remote delivered Legacy Code Workshop
  • Ask us about hosting a private course. In a private course there is an additional session where we can spend time in your code and explore bonus content of your choice.

Your course will be hosted at the Wingman Training Center (on gather.town). The Wingman Training Center has a stage, meeting rooms, hallways, coffee and water stations as well as The Tiki Bar. Using gather-town goes beyond your zoom or webex style meeting. Participants can work one-on-one with others or in small groups. You can also meet in the hallway or by the water-cooler to get to know each other better. Watch this short video tour of the Wingman Training Center on gather-town.

The Wingman Training Center looks like a video game. Each participant has an avatar. When you walk up to another person's avatar, you are instantly joined into a meeting. If you are in the same private space as other avatars, you are in a meeting together. You can see and talk to each other as well as share your screen. When you explore the Wingman Training Center, you will notice that the map is highlighted as you enter different areas, these are private meeting areas.

Whoever has their avatar on the stage, can be heard and seen by everyone.

During our meeetings, when you have a question, walk up to the stage and ask. You can also use the chat. But if your instructor does not notice the question in the chat, feel free to walk up to the stage and get what you need.

Note: The Wingman Training Center on gather-town does change from time to time. The video does not show today's exact configuration.

Dates, Times and Cost

Scheduled Courses (1)
September 13,14,15, 2022
(Tuesday to Thursday)
08:00AM to 01:00PM ET
(USA Eastern time)
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Hours may change to accomodate attendees.
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  • We plan courses for USA and European timezones.
  • Price: $1500 per learner
  • See the attendee preparations for this remote training course.


  • Learning Model

    We learn new skills by doing, not just reading, listening, and thinking. Engineers are not so interested in changing how they work if the change does not help solve some identified problem. We’ve found this learning cycle to be invaluable to attendees of our courses.

    • Present a problem -- problems motivate change
    • Present a potential solution -- the idea that may help
    • Demonstrate part of the solution -- remove ambiguity
    • Participant does an exercise -- learn by doing
    • Experience debrief -- identify and discuss both positive and negative reactions

    In this course, we repeat this learning cycle, growing skills with each iteration. Our goal is to build new skills on top of the attendees' existing skills.

    Audience

    • Embedded Software Developers
    • Software Developers
    • Technical team leaders
    • Managers that want to know more about the technology they manage


    Agenda by Day


    Day 1

    Test Driven Development

    Module Objective: Software developers make mistakes. Mistakes undetected become defects with potentially huge costs. In this section, attendees can learn the motivations behind TDD and how the short test-driven cycles may help prevent defects.

    • Why Test Driven Development?
    • What is Test Driven Development?
    • The Microcycle
    • Exercise
    • Debrief

    During the debrief, we explore what people liked about TDD and what concerns them. Most attendees like the experience, but also have a serious concerns or two. It is important to bring the concerns into the open. This is a rare opportunity to reflect on how we work and to envision how TDD may help us improve.

    Adapting TDD to Embedded Software Development

    Module Objective: Look at what is special about embedded systems programming, and some of the current industry-standard practice inefficiencies. We hope to show that TDD is well-suited for improving the embedded developer's product quality, as well as reducing some of the frustrations and waste when testing code in the target environment.

    • What is Special about Embedded Systems Development?
      • No hardware until late in the development cycle
      • Hardware with defects
      • Long edit, build, test cycles
      • Add your own unique problems here!
    • Running Tests the Development System
    • Risks of Development System Testing
    • Embedded TDD Cycle
    • The Role of Continuous Integration
    • Test Project Structure

    Day 2

    TDD and Collaborating Modules - testing the code in the middle

    Module Objective: The most valuable code you have (the code with the potential longest life) has dependencies. This code embodies what makes your product special. Automated tests help preserve your investment, allowing changes that have fewer unwanted side effects (defects!). We'll look at principles and techniques to guide developers in creating modular, testable, and tested embedded software. We'll introduce Spies and Fakes. You'll see how Spies and Fakes can fully exercise the code under test.

    • Object Oriented Principles Applied to embedded C or C++
    • Designing to interfaces
    • Information hiding
    • Substitutability
    • Spying on the Hardware
    • Faking the Time
    • Link-time Fake
    • Exercise
    • Debrief
    Keeping Tests Clean

    Module Objective: Tests have many valuable uses. One overlooked value of tests is that they are documentation. Tests provide an executable specification of the code under test. This document shows how the code is supposed to be used and how it is supposed to work. This document is unambiguous; it's code! This document warns you whenever the code differs from the specification. To get the most value from tests as documentation, tests must be written to be read and understood.

    • Tests as Detailed Documentation
    • Four-Phase Test Pattern
    • Given, When, Then
    • Arrange, Act Assert
    • Test Smells
    • Duplication in Tests

    Day 3

    Test-Doubles

    Module Objectives: There is more to test-stubs than the Spy and the Fake. We'll look at an overview of Test-Doubles and when to use them.

    • Taxonomy of Test-Doubles
    • Choosing Real or Test-Double
    Test-Driving Next to the Silicon With Mock Objects

    Module Objective: How close to the silicon can we get value from TDD? We can get to within a single C instruction of the hardware. In this module, we dig into The Mock Object. Mocks are great for faking the hardware while testing a device driver. Mocking has other uses as well and is quite powerful. It also hurts test readability so we'll look at when to use Mocks and when to use other kinds of Test-Doubles.

    • The Problem Solved by Mock Objects
    • TDD One Instruction Away from the Hardware
    • Specifying and Satisfying Expectations
    • Exercise
    • Debrief
    Refactoring -- Overview

    Module Objective: As requirements and users' needs change, code must change. Design is so important, we don't just do design once at the beginning of the development effort. Design is a continuous process. We accept that changing design is dangerous, and the tests created by the test-driven developer provide a safety-net to lock in code behavior as your product design evolves.

    Refactoring (changing the structure of code, without changing its behavior) is a step in the TDD microcycle used when we need to clean up a mess. We'll also refactor code so that a new feature can be dropped in. This module provides and overview of the mindset and the critical skills needed to evolve designs for a long useful life.
    • Refactoring Defined
    • Critical to a Healthy Business
    • Critical Skills
    • Code Smells
    • Envisioning
    • Transforming
    • TDD's Positive Influence on Design

    For more depth in design and refactoring, you can follow our TDD course with SOLID Design and Refactoring for C or SOLID Design and Refactoring for C++

    Working with Legacy Code -- Overview

    Module Objective: Now we face the reality that we have code that was not created with TDD. We've seen how TDD can help guide creating tested, modular and loosely coupled software. The reality: our code has problems. We don't have time to stop all feature development and retrofit our code base with tests. We'll look at the pragmatic approach to incrementally improving your valuable code base.

    • Legacy Code Mindset
    • The Cost of Doing Business
    • Where and How to Add Test and Refactor
    • Boy Scout Rule -- leave the campsite better than you found it
    • Incremental Improvement
    • Legacy Change Algorithm
    • Crash to Pass Algorithm
  • Wrap up Discussion
  • Optional Workshop for your Product Begins for on-site courses.
  • This course will get you and your team well on the way to applying TDD in your embedded C or C++ development efforts.


    Delivery Details

    How is this course delivered?