Question about 'outside in testing'

So at Thoughtbot you’re practicing ‘outside in testing’. Up untill now, I wrote my tests in a ‘inside out’ fashion.

I like ‘outside in’ approach of TDD, as it enables one to start from scratch and let the tests drive the coding.
Something I wonder about though is how one gets from integration tests to fully designed webpages, ready to go in production.

Do you add the full markup for the webpage after writing the integration tests, or do you first design and write the markup for the application and then write the integration tests afterwards?

Curious to know how you handle this at Thoughtbot,


Good question. I just joined a startup and I am their first tech guy and need to develop the product from scratch.

We try to have our designers be a few days ahead of our developers. That way the developers are writing integration tests for pages that mostly have their markup in place, and the inevitable CSS changes aren’t usually a problem.

For a brand new app like you’re describing, we very often start with almost unstyled wireframes. Just enough for the developers to get in there and add functionality. Once things are working the way we want with very simple styling, the designer will start adding more polish.

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Thanks for the reply Ben. In a former course, I learnt to have static pages before starting to implement the dynamic functionality.

But as I understand from your answer, it’s also possible to use integration test in a kind of prototyping strategy, and to implement the code without almost no design implemented.