[prog] Programming for QA folks

Miriam English mim at miriam-english.org
Sat Jun 16 05:14:57 UTC 2007

Anna Baik wrote:

> Background info: I'm a software tester working for a group who support
> a large "legacy" system in my company.   We'd really like to automate
> some of our regression testing and so we've been looking at learning
> shell scripting - specifically the Korn shell.

I'd recommend python over perl.

Perl can be extremely difficult to read later. This becomes very 
important when you collaborate in a group or have to return to your own 
code after months, when it might as well have been written by someone 
else. Perl tends to be extremely dense and obscure, and easily hides 
annoying little bugs because of that.

Python is far more readable. I've come back to my python code after 
months and felt like I've never been away. The online documentation for 
python is very good. I have a few python books, but rarely use them. I 
always keep open a web browser displaying information on the aspects of 
python I'm working on. Python is available for almost any kind of computer.

People will defend perl by saying that you can document the code, but 
that's true of any language. Python encourages documentation as well as 
being very clear in the first place.

Personally I have an intense dislike of java for a number of reasons. It 
is overly wordy and cluttered. I seemed to spend much of my time 
fighting against the language in order to accomplish stuff instead of 
just doing it. It is not open -- it is a proprietary language owned by 
Sun (though I've heard Sun were considering opening it up). I've had far 
too many occasions where java crashes badly.

Caveat: These are simply my experiences. I'm not an expert in any of 
those languages, though I've done a moderate amount of java programming 
and am involved in a fairly long-term python project.

The experiences of large increases in productivity by 2 veteran 
programmers were what originally prompted me to look into python.
Eric Raymond:
Bruce Eckel:

Best wishes,

	- Miriam
A life! Cool! Where can I download one of those from?
Website: http://miriam-english.org
Blog: http://miriam-e.livejournal.com

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