Most of what I know about agile development of database applications I learned from Fast & Furious movies.

       Photo Credit: Nathan Bittinger Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Makes sense, right? Everyone is always talking about application development being Fast, and working Furiously to meet deadlines, so I found a lot of inspiration in those movies.

Anyway, as the product marketing manager for Toad, they don’t let me write code. And that’s probably a good thing. For everybody. Still, I want to pass on to you some of the noblest, most Fast & Furious ideas for ensuring that your code functions correctly.

Fast & Furious quotations for agile development

  • “One thing I've learned from Dom is that nothing really matters unless you have a code.” – Brian O’Conner, Fast & Furious (2009). Actually, Brian was only half-right: it’s important to have code, but if you want to tightly define requirements with your business users, it’s important to be able to represent your code graphically as well. Representing complex code graphically helps improve understanding and minimize errors. Likewise, visualizing interdependencies and the full impact of what seem like simple code changes can keep code functioning correctly in the long run.
  • “We do what we do best. We improvise.” – Brian O’Conner, Furious 6 (2013). You’ll probably always have developers on your team who like to improvise. If it’s part of your job to edit poor-performing, improvised code written by someone else, then you know what a grossly inefficient task it can be to find and fix it. You can reduce a lot of the inefficiency with tools that help you locate offending code quickly.
  • “Maybe you’re not the good guy pretending to be the bad guy. Maybe you’re the bad guy pretending to be the good guy.” – Mia Toretto, Fast & Furious (2009). You sit there trying to figure out whether a chunk of code is the good guy that’s propping up your app or the bad guy that’s making it misbehave. Of course, there’s only one way to find out: test. Developers and business users depend on initial unit tests, and DBAs (always hesitant to push untested code to production) depend on regression testing.
  • “He lives in a world that doesn’t play by your rules.” – Mr. Nobody, Furious 7 (2015). So how are you going to test for a world like that, especially when debugging, testing and reviews can hog large parts of your day and melt large parts of your brain? Since you can’t come up with test data for all scenarios, look for tools that generate random and real-world test data, then use those data sets to perform automated unit testing.

If those inspirational quotes don’t help you ensure that the code you write for your database applications functions correctly, nothing will.

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Josh Howard

About Josh Howard

Josh Howard is a Worldwide Product Marketing Manager for Dell’s Information Management Group focused on database, business intelligence and big data analytics solutions. Josh has been with the Dell product team since 2010 where he leads the go-to-market strategies for Dell’s Toad™ product portfolio.You can follow Josh on Twitter at @joshoward or LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/joshoward/

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