Free the with Matthew Setter

In this episode, I had a long and winding discussion about software testing with the legendary Grumpy Programmer Chris Hartjes.

We talked about the importance of learning the essentials of software testing rather than focusing on a particular framework, as that makes your skills so much more transferable. We discussed how to approach testing; it's not a framework-first approach. And we also discussed the latest PHP testing framework, Pest PHP, covering what it brings to the table and whether people should just stick to older veterans, such as PHPUnit, or not.

Some key takeaways are:
  • You should learn the essentials of testing first, and not a specific tool such as PHPUnit or Pest PHP
  • It's better if people worry less about the tool and more about testing concepts
  • The people who write the best tests are also really talented programmers, because you can't be a shitty programmer and write good tests
  • Testing is an intermediate skill. You have to know how code before you can write tests
  • When approaching testing something, ask: "How would I manually do this?". Don't think about testing concepts or a framework straight away
  • If people would spend as much time learning the fundamentals (of testing), they'd see that their skills are transferable.
  • Composer saved PHP. It kept PHP from just being the thing that runs WordPress
  • Bill Joy on Linux and macOS: "Re-implementing what I designed in 1979 is not interesting to me personally. For kids who are 20 years younger than me, Linux is a great way to cut your teeth. It's a cultural phenomenon and a business phenomenon. Mac OS X is a rock-solid system that's beautifully designed. I much prefer it to Linux.'
Guests: Chris Hartjes.
Hosted By: Matthew Setter.

Thanks for tuning in to Free the Geek. If you'd like to be a guest on the podcast or know someone who'd make a great guest, email me: matthew[at] This podcast is produced by Matthew Setter for the Web Dev With Matt podcast network.

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What is Free the with Matthew Setter?

Interesting, engaging, exciting, and thought-provoking stories from those in tech; because all of us have a story or two to tell.