Testing in 2020 Takeaways: Part 1


10 Automated Testing Lessons

Tim shares 10 of his hard-earned lessons from his 40+ years of professional coding that he’d throw down with you on.

  1. Unit tests are an essential investment in your software’s future.
  2. Test coverage data is useful and you should keep an eye on it.
  3. Untested legacy codebases can and should be improved incrementally
  4. Unit tests need to run very quickly with a single IDE key-combo, and it’s perfectly OK to run them every few seconds like a nervous tic.
  5. There’s no room for testing religions; do what works.
  6. Unit tests empower code reviewers.
  7. Integration tests are super important and super hard, particularly in a microservices context.
  8. Integration tests need to pass 100%, it’s not OK for there to be failures that are ignored.
  9. Integration tests need to run “fast enough“.
  10. It’s good for tests to include benchmarks.

Concrete Evidence that Testing Works

I went looking for studies earlier this year when a colleague asked for proof that TDD was a more efficient way to develop software. I’ve never really done more than temporary forays into TDD. But I couldn’t find anything! Tim couldn’t either. 😩 His explanation of why this is difficult data to find made a lot of sense to me.

Working in a well unit tested codebase gives developers courage

Business Value of Automated Testing

My current team practices SAFe agile so we attempt to focus on business value. Try convincing your stakeholders that the team needs to spend effort bolstering automated testing and they’ll come up with a list of features that add more value than testing every time. It’s usually not an easy sell! But Tim makes a solid point, automated testing IS business value. I had never thought of it like this. There is concrete value in testing.

But there’s more!

That’s about half of Tim’s Post. Some time I’ll cover the 2nd half. Or check it out for yourself here.



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Joel Burke

Joel Burke

Incredibly passionate about faith, family, agile processes, people, software development and solving hard problems in each of these areas.