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2008-07-18

Unit Tests Rule Software Development

Even after a relatively long time using object oriented systems we still couldn't deal well with a growing problem. The lack of automated tests.

The absence of unit tests reduce the programmers confidence about the system and makes it very difficult if not impossible to modify the source-code. Since each modification can cause a lot of other bugs and undesired side-effects in other parts of the system or in other systems, the system can not evolve with the changing business rules and the changing technological knowledge.

Well that was true some months ago, now we are building a lot of unit tests for the systems already in production. Ironically due to some good architectural choices such as persistence isolation and POCO objects, it was not difficult to start testing with the Stub technique. It was all there, we just started creating test cases.

In reality, although not the ideal way, a set of use-case tests are being implemented in order to assure the right execution of what was working before. So the service layer is tested not the business objects at this time.

Now we are looking for automated ways to create mode real test cases in other to produce all the tests we need as fast as we can. Perhaps a testing framework will be necessary.
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