Some questions on unit testing

Posted on August 15th, 2008 in Agile by siddharta || No Comment

I came across an interesting post on TDD today. Before I come to that though, here are three questions on unit testing:

  1. How many of us do unit testing?
  2. How much of those unit tests are written by developers?
  3. How many of those are TDD (tests before code)?

I’m bringing this up because of this intriguing post by Scott Ambler on the Extreme Programming mailing list. Quoting:

Good news, bad news on this one. The data is also in that we’re not doing anywhere near as much TDD as one would come to believe based on all the chatter we see on the mailing lists.

Apparently, agilists are more likely to do some up front modeling than they are to do TDD. They’re also more likely to write status reports than to do TDD, so if that’s not a sharp stick in the eye I don’t know what is.

There’s also a very clear trend for adopting easy practices such as daily scrum meetings over difficult practices such as TDD.

For the record, at my company we do a lot of developer unit tests, but almost all of them after coding. In other words, its more for regression purposes and as an aid to refactoring, than it is for guiding the design.

What about your company? Do you do unit tests? Developer unit tests? TDD?

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