Cover page by Nat Pryce, Steve Freeman

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Chapter 1. What Is the Point of Test-Driven Development?

One must learn by doing the thing; for though you think you know it, you have no certainty, until you try.

—Sophocles

Software Development as a Learning Process

Almost all software projects are attempting something that nobody has done before (or at least that nobody in the organization has done before). That something may refer to the people involved, the application domain, the technology being used, or (most likely) a combination of these. In spite of the best efforts of our discipline, all but the most routine projects have elements of surprise. Interesting projects—those likely to provide the most benefit—usually have a lot of surprises.

Developers often don’t completely understand ...

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