This week I found another domain where test driven development is used: roses. Yes, I mean the green plant with the colorful head! In Portland, USA, you can find the International Rose Test Garden, founded already in 1917. The Portland rose society writes:
Roses currently under test in the garden are not named but are designated only by a number. The new varieties are submitted by the hybridizers to the AARS (All-America Rose Selections), who then distributes them to the test gardens identified only by their code number. Four plants of each entry are evaluated for two years on 14 different characteristics consumers desire in a garden plant including plant habit, vigor, disease resistance, color, flower production, form, foliage, and fragrance. About 200 rose cultivars are under test each year.
Systematic tests to find out if a new rose variety can possibly succeed in the consumer market. Can we learn something from this for software development?