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  • Software Developer
  • Javascript Specialist

Rotting Test is a manifestation of the father of lies. He could blind you and push you off a precipice;  choke you slowly and leave a crimson mess of firings but the great anti-pattern takes more pleasure in devouring your brain on a platter. The Archdemon takes possession of your soul and tricks you into worshipping him as a Strategy; you must ship code faster. Does it poison your customers as they say? Fuck the tests.

You’ll lose blood to its talons when you merge code. The devil will ask you to kill the reviewer. Every Thursday will feel a Monday. You’ll perform a release ceremony every two weeks as the Ancients did in the First Bubble. You’ll get fat, and the money won’t be worth it anymore.

Once this Prince of Hell grabs you by the throat, the only solution is the most primal: fight or fly.  You must forge alliances and rebuild a crumbling test suite or yield for as long you need the paycheck, and you stay on the right side of your master’s whims.


First, run the test suite. If you see red engulf the green or a red ocean, ask your teammates what everyone thinks of the situation. If they are in the middle of restoring the tests, then help out. With some work and some time, you’ll be on safe shores. There will be rum.

If anyone says it’s a trade-off, that there’s no time to write tests, that it’s a strategy to ship code faster, then the anti-pattern created a rift in the Fade, and if you’re not careful, you’ll begin to reason away its existence, just like the others. Come winter; the project will die and wither.


This anti-pattern, like a Clegane, is a big fucker whose hard to kill;  especially once it takes hold of management. Garlic and crucifix don’t work in real life, and the nights are dark and full of terror, so we do the best with what we got before the Apocalypse: We get buy in from the team and rebuild the tests.

The Restoration

Rebuilding the tests must become a whole project. Devote some time in the schedule for fixing and enhancing the test suite. If you have no real choice, start from scratch, keeping the old ones as a reference.If you encounter resistance, push. At least you’ll make it clear which side you’re on.

Once you get the tests back to the green, don’t let them harness fall back into oblivion. Keep your test suite well maintained. Any broken window invites Rotting Tests.