unit testing

Articles

Test pyramid with the base unit test layer eroded The Eroding Agile Test Pyramid

The test pyramid is a great model for designing your test portfolio. However, the bottom tends to fall out when you shift from progression testing to regression testing. The tests start failing, eroding the number of working unit tests at the base of your pyramid. If you don't have the development resources required for continuous unit test maintenance, there are still things you can do.

Wolfgang Platz
Lines of code, photo by Markus Spiske Reduce Technical Debt by Using Unit Tests as Documentation

Technical debt is an inevitable side effect of legacy code. Some code can (and should) be pruned, but institutional memory fades—what if there's a reason certain lines were included that may not be immediately obvious? Done right, unit tests can serve as documentation. Later on, these tests can illuminate what the developer was thinking when they created the code.

Steve Poling
Sign reading "Duh!" When the Code Is Too Obvious to Check

How many times does something seem too obvious to check? Most of the time this normal human response is a handy shortcut. Your brain tries to save you time—but you can’t always trust it. If your code malfunctions, each of those "too obvious to check" thoughts will bias your thinking about what caused the malfunction. We have to commit up front, before our thinking crystalizes, that the code will have to prove to us that it is correct.

Steve Poling
Car steering wheel photo by Nicolai Berntsen A Case for Test-First Development

You may feel you don't have time to write unit tests, but you really don't have time not to. Steve Poling makes the case that writing tests first not only will yield better code, but will help you get that code working right sooner. Here's how using a test-first approach changes your thinking about coding, lets you see mistakes immediately, and helps you create more testable code.

Steve Poling

Better Software Magazine Articles

Building Mobile Apps the User Can Trust

It seems like every week there's a new security disaster impacting millions of users worldwide. With the acceptance of mobile apps providing timely data at your fingertips, users are becoming very concerned about security. Philip gives you some impactful tips for developing apps that create trust with end-users.

Philip Lew
Should QA Perform Unit Testing?

In this FAQ column, Linda Hayes addresses the question: "Should QA Perform Unit Testng?"  Detailing why and who should perform unit testing to ensure the best possible outcome.

Linda Hayes
You Can't Be Agile without Automated Unit Testing

Agile projects assume that test planning, test creation, and test execution take place throughout a project's lifecycle. So the need for unit testing (and especially automated unit testing) can't be ignored and should be considered as a key responsibility of the entire team—not just the software developers.

Gil Zilberfeld
Developing Your Sense of Smell

With all of the resources available these days—books, blogs, Webcasts, training,—that aid us in our design, are you one of those programmers who lacks the "olfactory gene" needed to detect refactoring odors in your code? Unit testing helps you refine your sense of smell and improve your code design.

Tod Golding

Interviews

A Closer Look at API Testing: An Interview with Ole Lensmar
Video

TechWell's Noel Wurst got the chance to sit down with Ole Lensmar, Chief Architect at SmartBear. Ole discussed the differences between unit and API testing, the importance of choosing the best testing methods, and the benefits of reusing test assets.

Noel Wurst

Conference Presentations

Better Software West 2018, Agile Dev West 2018, DevOps West 2018 Strategies for Selecting the Right Open Source Framework for Cross-Browser Testing
Slideshow

Organizations today are required to test their web application across browsers and mobile devices. Choosing the right framework is a matter of organizational as well as technical fit. With a plethora of test frameworks that span across practices such as behavior-driven development, unit tests, UI, and others, it can be a struggle to select the right tool. In this session, Eran Kinsbruner will provide an overview of the market and cover the top ten open source test frameworks, with a comparison table of pros and cons about when and why to use one tool over another. Eran will take into account technical automation skills, market trends, framework functionality, usability, and integration concerns. You'll learn about the current cross-browser testing landscape and future forecasts, putting you in a solid position to pick the best open source test framework for your unique needs.

 

Eran Kinsbruner
The Future of Agile: Dilution, Calcification, or Evolution?
Video

The agile revolution began more than a dozen years ago. It was started by a small band of rebels who had radical ideas, shared a common vision, and wanted to change the world by challenging the status quo. Where is that agile revolution today? Has it continued the vision of its founders?

Jeff "Cheezy" Morgan
Mock Objects: From Concept to Code
Slideshow

Mock objects are simulated objects that mimic the behavior of real objects in controlled ways. Because many code modules interact with external entities-things like databases, networks, file systems, third-party frameworks, and even the clock-these entities often cause us big-time trouble during unit testing. These entities can slow down our unit tests, produce unpredictable results, and have dangerous side effects. The best unit tests are decoupled from these external entities. Rather than try to control the entities, you can create mock objects to simulate their functionality. With a tangible example in the form of a short play, Rob Myers introduces mock objects and provides a brief history of their "relatives"-stubs and fakes. Then, with an animated, nearly-worst-case example, Rob presents code he developed to "mock out" nasty dependencies and create safe, predictable unit tests.

Rob Myers, Agile Institute
Back to the Basics: Principles for Constructing Quality Software
Slideshow

Using an analogy to the building codes followed by architects and contractors in the construction of buildings, Rick Spiewak explores the fundamental principles for developing and delivering high quality, mission-critical systems. Just as buildings are constructed using different materials and techniques, we use a variety of languages, methodologies, and tools to develop software. Although there is no formal "building code" for software, software projects should consider-and judiciously apply-the recognized "best" practices of static analysis, automated unit testing, code re-use, and peer reviews. Rick takes you on a deep dive into each of these techniques where you'll learn about their advantages, disadvantages, costs, challenges, and more.

Rick Spiewak, The MITRE Corporation

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