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Agitar CEO: Unit testing is not a common practice



David Worthington
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May 21, 2008 —  Unit testing was the wrong horse to back, says the former CEO of a software test toolmaker that placed its strategic bet on Java unit testing becoming a trend.

Jerry Rudisin, CEO of Agitar Software until April, said of unit testing: “The practice works, but it hasn’t taken off as a mainstream practice. The founders [Roongko Doong and Alberto Savoia] made a sensible bet on [unit testing], but it didn’t pan out. We gave it our all.”

Agitar is best known for its AgitarOne Java unit testing suite and AgitarOne Agitator testing technology, which was designed to automatically generate test cases and analyze the results. The company ceased its operations on April 2.

The founders’ intention was to “do for software development what Google has done for Web services,” by building a vast community of users and exploiting that community through data mining, according to Rudisin. But the community never reached critical mass.

Consequently, the Agitar management team decided in March to not pursue additional venture financing, which prompted the board of directors to wind down the company’s operations, he explained. Agitar management terminated most of the staff on April 2, he said.

After the decision was made to cease operations, Agitar retained the services of Sherwood Partners LLC to renegotiate its debt. Sherwood mailed a notice of assignment to creditors on behalf of Agitar on April 28. Sherwood also hired some core employees back to keep deals moving forward, Rudisin said.

But that might be too little too late for Agitar to salvage its customer base. Agitar’s competitors, including Instantiations and Parasoft, are fishing for its customers, baiting the hook with special incentives for moving to their unit testing tools.

For a limited time, former Agitar customers can exchange a license of AgitarOne for a comparable Instantiations CodePro AnalytiX license for the cost of CodePro’s annual maintenance. Likewise, Parasoft has launched what it calls the “Agitar Amnesty Program,” encouraging former Agitar customers to trade in their current license for the Parasoft Application Quality Solution for the cost of maintenance only.





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