Friday, October 06, 2006

Quality improvement and automatic unit testing

“Another good practice for quality improvement is automatic unit tests. Unit testing is actually a validation that a particular part of the program is working properly. A programmer usually performs this task to ensure that his part works correctly. Unit test includes the standard test actions that a programmer has to run every time he makes changes to the source code.”

“Automatic unit test is something that can help. All unit tests are run automatically every day, logically, after the daily build is completed so as to test the basic functionality against the latest version of the program that has been built during the daily build.

As with automatic daily builds, there are also a number of open sourced and free tools available, such as JUnit. Implementing automatic unit testing requires more effort than automatic daily build.”

“So why are such automatic tools not used more widely by development teams today? One reason is the time spent learning how to use the new tools and adjust to working to the new procedures. They are delays that some organisations are not prepared to endure. But such reasoning is seen as being very short sighted. A week spent by the development team getting familiar with the automatic tools is a small price to pay for all the down-the-line benefits that such tools deliver.

Software development always seems to demand we get the final product out of the door as quickly as possible. But we often forget that there are smart ways to improve our work and do the same things faster and of better quality if we invest a little time in learning.”

No comments: