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You are a responsible developer, practicing TDD and keeping your code clean through refactoring.  Your 'bar' is always green, but are you living and developing in a world of 'False Green'?  Is your green bar continuous or is it only measured at points in time - when you run your tests for example.  At the Lean Conference in April, Joshua Kerievsky gave an excellent presentation titled 'The Limited Red Society.' A summary of this presentation can be found on Joshua's site here and the video can be found here. Synopsis: we need to be aware of the state of our code at all times, not just when we run our tests.  In the real world, things may break at non-ideal times, like during the middle of a refactoring, and we must fix them. Joshua's session really hit home about a month ago when I felt like I was refactoring with fire.

To set the stage, I was working solo on some custom code for a customer.  I developed it test-driven and had solid tests.  After I delivered the code to the customer, I saw a great spot for refactoring and simplifying the code so I dove in.  Then the customer came back with a change...but I was in the middle of refactoring! The change would only take me about 10 minutes but the refactoring session would last another hour or two to get to the point where I wanted it.  Right then I felt like I was refactoring with fire.  This was only a 10 minute change but a production emergency could go on quite a bit longer and I would be leaving my codebase unstable. I vowed to not let that happen again.!StumbleUpon!

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