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Selling unit testing

Posted in testing tool by testing in London on May 30, 2008

From Java World

For instance, Agitar’s product was phenomenal (and their team, outstanding); nevertheless, their superior mousetrap cost a heck of a lot of money. In the end, however, the Agitator produced JUnit tests. The same tests that one could have arguably written for free (yes, I know that in reality many of tests would have never been written by hand, however).

In essence, Agitar took a commodity (a mousetrap, but in this case, JUnit) and made it better– indeed, they have (or is it had now?) a good customer base (meaning they actually had customers, man). There were people that saw the benefit and had the discipline and honesty to admit they had a problem that the Agitar could solve in a superior manner.

Don’t forget basic economics though– the cost to produce their mousetrap was significant. There are only so many people who would buy a $500 mousetrap when sitting right next to it, on the same shelf, is the dollar variety (which, by they way, works fine). So too, there are only a few companies that would likely spend roughly $50,000 to $100,000 on a tool where any Google search would display a link for another tool that has zero cost (i.e. junit.org).

Indeed, there are other smokin’ companies selling superior unit testing tools that are still operating today; however, if you look closely at the big names, they have a diversified portfolio of products and it wouldn’t surprise me if their economics work out more favorably (but keep in mind the statement regarding profit and cost and the difference of the two related to length of presence in a market).

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