The “is dead” conversation is dead

Although I’m somewhat late to the game on this, David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) set the interwebs ablaze when he stated that Test Driven Development is dead. In fact, that was the name of his post. Whether I agree or disagree (I disagree for the record) is irrelevant. What I found odd was that this is still a headline that we still use. Indeed, in our industry many technologies or ideas die and are quickly replaced by new ones for better or for worse. My assertion is that something does not need to be declared as “dead”. Declaring a technology or idea as dead does not actually do anything, and in the days of Hacker News and somewhat “link-bait” headlines, actually has the opposite effect.

Ideas die or are replaced on their own. They have a lifespan and they are often stepping stones for the next idea. For example, the work of Sigmund Freud is pretty much obsolete in the world of Psychology. A professional Psychologist knows this and derides anyone who should happen to quote him. However, at the time his ideas pushed the profession forward. Although his ideas were largely incorrect, the question becomes: would the field of Psychology be what it is today without him? I’m not sure either way. However, to my knowledge, no one in the field officially declared his work as “dead” on a Psychology blog somewhere. It was PROVEN to be dead, and then later ACCEPTED to be dead. No formal declaration required.

My hope is that the industry of Software Development can move past this sensationalism and get back to a more scientific foundation in this regard. One of ideas proven through work, with a preponderance of evidence to support it.

Don Marges

Don Marges

Fullstack Web Developer

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