Similarities between the Cuckoo Clocks and the Software Development Process

Similarities between the Cuckoo Clocks and the Software Development Process


Cuckoo clocks have always been one of the most preferred things to gift someone on any occasion, especially Christmas. Backed by a rich history, the clock finds a special place among many in western countries. The clock is made up of special wood found mostly in the black forest in Germany. The most spectacular thing about the clock is the engineering and art involved to craft it. However, for someone into software testing, the making of cuckoo clocks can be compared with that of the software development process.

It can surprise many of us, but the composure of cuckoo clocks indeed resembles a lot with the software development process.

Unit Test

The process of testing each logical component in a cuckoo clock is exactly same as that of the software development. The clock movement mechanism is much like the unit testing of components in a software system.

Integration Test

Integration incorporates various components that have been individually tested. In software engineering, integration testing aims to discover flaws and errors once the components are integrated. The same kind of principle is applied while integrating cuckoo clock parts. In case there is any mismatch or error in movement post-integration, the components are re-integrated by adjusting the wire length or cutting short the components if they do not fit.

System Test

Much like a software process, the cuckoo clock is tested as a whole post-integration. By inspecting the entire clock and its individual components for a day or two, the makers ensure that there is no flaw or hindrance in its smooth functionality. Moreover, the clock can also be evaluated for risks involved in shipping.

In the world of software engineering, such kinds of check are often referred as acceptance or end-to-end testing. The intention is to verify the system’s competence to the required use cases.

Behind the Scenes

You might not notice the modeling and design aspects involved while creating cuckoo clocks. However, the integrity lies with the sub components even before they are assembled and tested. While assembling the clock parts, the faith lies with the fact that the clock gears are of the right size and with equal number of teeth. In addition, the belief that they will comply and fit with the system once integrated must also be there.

This design and modeling aspects of a software development process are almost similar to the design and modeling form of various components involved in the cuckoo clocks. However, the development aspects, which is yet another important form is often ignored by many testers.

Computer-aided software often plays an important role in producing these types of clock. The computerized approach adds the much required precision for those parts when they are ready to be produced.

Coming to its methodology, it would be unfair to consider it agile. Cuckoo clocks fit best with the Waterfall-like production method, which allows you to make improvements from time to time being innovative at the same time. Whereas the agile method is used in software projects that require more learning, reduces uncertainty, and has faith in continuous integration. However, the more interesting consideration is that some of the software are indeed not suited to agile methods.

The Agile methodology depends upon the software’s flexibility, unlike the cuckoo clocks that have to be completed and composed once it reaches the customer. Even the exploratory method is not considered fit for many software projects, as believed by many true context-driven testers. In order to maximize the influence of testing, you need to consider different approaches and employ the one that best suits your requirement.


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