Why Are You Testing Your Software?
15 years ago, automated tests didn’t exist in the Java ecosystem. One had to build the application and painfully test it manually by using it. I was later introduced to the practice of adding a
main method to every class and putting some testing code there. That was only marginally better, as it still required you to manually run the methods. Then came JUnit, the reference unit testing framework in Java which brought test execution automation. At that point, I had to convince teams I was part of that we had to use it to create an automated test harness to prevent regression bugs. Later, this became an expectation: no tests meant no changes in the code for fear of breaking something.
More recently, however, it happened that I sometimes have to advocate for the opposite: do not write too many tests. Yes, you read that right, and yet I’m no turncoat. The reason for this lies in the title of the post: why are you testing your software? It may sound like the answer to this question is pretty obvious – but it’s not, and the answer is tightly coupled to the concept of quality.
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May 17, 2017 at 07:39AM