A quote from the Agile2016 keynote speech.
If you have this culture of fear, whether it’s you’re afraid to change the code because there are no automated tests. There is no safety net. Or you’re afraid of speaking up to your boss. If you have a culture of fear, none of this fancy stuff is going to help much. We have to attack that problem. One way we do it of course on the technical side is we have lots of automation. For our Agile e-learning, we have hundreds, thousands actually, thousands of automated tests of different kinds.
It’s an incredible safety net. When they were building the Golden Gate Bridge, they had a safety net. 19 people fell into it. They’re called the Halfway to Hell Club. Actually they studied this, and the cost of making that net was incredible. It was really inexpensive when they looked at the productivity of the workers because morale was so high when they had the net. They know, “I’m not going to die up here.” When they built the Bay Bridge, a bunch of people died.
I love this perspective on automated tests and the story about building bridges 🙂