Check it one last time

It's totally worth it

Habits drive our lives. Having good ones is what separate people who achieve what they are after from those who will not. Or not without a lot of struggle.

In programming, as in general life, good habits are important.

One habit has saved me a lot of times. Saved me not only time but also my face.

Always check from my changes from the end user perspective.

By doing that, I am able to check that the application, as a whole, still works. Nothing went wrong in the connections between the parts. All assumptions are still holding.

Many times I managed to break something unintentionally, something which would be hard to know without double checking what I did.

That approach doesn’t exclude automated testing. Even if I would see only green dots and feel confident that the code didn’t break anything I would still check it manually. Automated tests can’t catch everything. Sometimes you need a human eye to spot a problem.

There’s another benefit of the manual check.

I can see my change from the end user perspective. And it doesn’t matter if it is a web application, a library or a script. Seeing how exactly the end user would use it.

It allows me to check that what I set out to do is actually working. Also I can see that change in the bigger context. Does it fit the rest of the user interaction? Is it connected with everything around? Is it intuitive? Does it feel the way I envisioned it it will?

Sometimes using my change I learn that I didn’t do the best job. That there are some improvements required. It’s better to learn that when testing it by yourself than wait until your users come across the same problem. They may tell you or they may just stop using your software.

I’m not perfect, I sometimes forget to do it. In most cases I quickly learn that I should have checked because I would have caught the problem earlier.