There are no best practices

Lately I’ve been asked to put together a list of best practices for writing tests. And I fell in the trap. I know how important the right choice of words can be and still I didn’t think twice about the request. When talking to some people on my team it was obvious that while the essence of the practices suggested were the same the details differed slightly. And then one colleague mentioned that there are no best practices, only good practices. This is not a new topic and I plead guilty to translating “best practice” into “good practice”. If something is “best” it implies there is no (or little) point in looking for better alternatives. If something is good I think it implies you don’t know if there is something better and you should continue looking for improvement. We also have to remember that the context make different practices better than others.

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