A Valuable Lesson for Creating Tests

Article link: https://dzone.com/articles/why-you-should-stop-now-testing-every-class

A great article I read today goes over the importance of creating the correct kinds of tests for software. In this article, the author thoroughly explains the importance of testing the “behavior” of software versus “implementation details” and how not “every single class” needs to be tested. I think the author does a great job with both an easy to understand narrative and tons of example code that illustrate the importance of testing that software performs to specification versus testing how the code is written. The example code given in the article goes further with linking to an entire GitHub repository for the example code (which elaborates beyond what is shown in the article) which I really appreciate as it lets me see exactly how this concept aligns with a complete program. The most interesting part of this article for me was in the author’s explanation of how refactoring code can cause tests that are written (incorrectly) to a specific implementation to fail. I think it is important to see this point that putting in extra effort in developing software but on the wrong things can actually do more harm than good further down the line. Especially as the author points out if you were to further refactor the code and change how it works (even return types as the author demonstrates!), this causes bad tests to fail, which only creates even more work. I never really thought of how refactoring could create more work in a testing scenario before reading this, but I like how refactoring further helps the overall program by exposing the appearance of useless tests. One other part of the article I really enjoyed was the side narrative the author gave while working through his example of how the steps they took followed TDD (test-driven development). This is also something I wanted to learn more about, and this article also provides a good example of TDD by explaining how certain practices taken in the code example adhere to the rules of this methodology.

Overall, I think this article covered an important topic well, and serves as a great reminder at the end of our testing course to make sure we are testing the right things in our software and that we are not creating too many, and useless tests that only hinder our efforts and not help us. I will certainly keep this article in mind when writing future tests to ensure I’m not wasting my time by creating the wrong kinds of tests or making sure every line is tested in a program.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s