Monday, May 5, 2014

Strange Errors Are Good

Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Feedback.

((crickets chirp))

Well, then. Ahem. 

I've been plowing through a few RSpec tutorials (here and here), trying to increase my understanding and decrease my mind-numbing fear of all those error messages. Intellectually, I understand that error messages are our friends. The kind of friends who want to make us better and are willing to use some tough love to get us that way. Deep down inside, there's still that little part of me that makes my heart jump when I see a screen of errors go flying by. It's the same little panicky part that I successfully subdued into calm at the sight of the command line. I subdued the panic then and I will do it again.

In the meantime, I'm learning great things about RSpec though my little detour in tutorial-land.

Today I learned:
1.  You can run all of the tests in your spec/ directory by typing rspec spec (or rake exec rspec spec in Rails) on the command line. Frying pans! Who knew?

And, more importantly:
2.  Yes, at least at this point in my experience and training, it is totally worth the time to read through the entire tutorial first. It's tempting to just jump in and start hacking, but ultimately it's much more frustrating when I try to follow along. I typically end up hacking away and then I don't scroll down to see that the error message I think is due to some mistake on my part is really all part of the whole BDD/TDD plan. And, yes, I should have learned this lesson quite some time ago but it was hammered in today when I read through the tutorial before even opening my editor. I saved myself a ton of time and tears.

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