Testing on the Toilet: Revolutionizing Developer Testing at Google

Bharat Mediratta and Antoine Picard, Google, Inc.

You work in an organization with incredibly smart and diligent software engineers. Deadlines are tight and everyone is busy. But when developers outnumber testers by ten to one and the code base is growing exponentially, how do you continue to produce a quality product on time? Google addressed these problems by creating the Testing Grouplet—a group of volunteer engineers who dedicate their spare time to testing evangelism. They tried various ideas for reaching their audience. Weekly beer bashes were fun but too inefficient. New-engineer orientation classes, Tech Talks by industry luminaries, and yearly “Fixit” days became successful and continue to this day. But no idea caught the attention of engineers like Testing on the Toilet. This weekly flyer, posted in every Google bathroom, has sparked discussions, controversy, jokes, and parodies. More importantly, it has taught everyone about techniques such as code coverage, dependency injection, mock objects, and testing time-dependent code. Learn the story of its development—from a deceptively simple idea to a company-wide cultural phenomenon that has received national acclaim. Perhaps Testing on the Toilet can bring better testing to your organization.

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