Google code testing is in the toilet, world's toilets

Are you maximizing your 'down-time'?
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor

UPDATE: Google code testing evangelists have gone public and are taking their code testing promotion tactics to the world's toilets: "We want you to write more tests. 'Testing on the Toilet' has helped us to inspire our developers to write well-tested code. We write flyers about everything from dependency injection to code coverage, and then regularly plaster the bathrooms all over Google with each episode, almost 500 stalls worldwide. We've decided to share this secret weapon with the rest of the world to help spread our passion for testing, and to provide a fun and easy way for you to educate yourself and the rest of your company about these important tricks and techniques."

OCTOBER 21, 2006: Google has one of the “lowest ratios of testers to developers,” Google Director of Engineering, Alan Warren, told the New York Software Industry Association earlier this week (see "Google NYC First Look: Top Google engineer talks to NYC software industry").

Why? Google’s internal development processes--“self-testability” and “second code reviews”--result in “more robust code than usual,” according to Warren. 

In “Why Google (not Microsoft) is loved,” I put forth the confident “QA is a bandaid; All our engineers are quality engineers,” Google philosophy.

Google’s secret engineering sauce apparently is fueled by yet another unique to Google quality assurance strategy: “testing on the toilet.” The WashingtonPost reports:

To understand the corporate culture at Google Inc., take a look at the toilets.

Every bathroom stall on the company campus holds a Japanese high-tech commode with a heated seat. If a flush is not enough, a wireless button on the door activates a bidet and drying.

Yet even while they are being pampered with high-tech toiletry, Google employees are encouraged to make good use of their downtime: A flier tacked inside each stall bears the title, "Testing on the Toilet, Testing code that uses databases." It features a geek quiz that changes every few weeks and asks technical questions about testing programming code for bugs.

According to the WashingtonPost, the toilets “reflect Google's general philosophy of work.”

Pity the mere non-Googler mortal using the toilet “library” for the typical trivial reading diversions such as comics, crossword puzzles, porn…
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