Since the developers know this is being measured and have easy access to the results, they often just find uncovered code and write tests just to cover that code with meaningless asserts – e.g. assert that a class has 8 properties. Or potentially worse, with no asserts at all!
There is no business reason why a class should contain 8 properties, there is no business reason for a class to exist at all for that matter. There is no business reason to test code which can never be run in production, there is no business reason to test code so that code coverage is higher. There’s no business reason to generate tests just to satisfy a metric.
If you've written a test for a module, and the module is changed in the future, there are three things that can happen:
1. The test keeps passing because nothing is broken. (Good.) 2. The test fails because something is wrong. (Great – this is the test's job!) 3. The test keeps passing, but it silently stops testing the thing it claims to (BAD, BAD, BAD!).
100% code coverage does not mean that your code is bug free. It doesn’t even mean that your code is being properly tested.
TDD gives you, by the mere nature of the process, a unit test suite that executes 100% of the code. This can be a very nice thing to have.
However, like most things in life, people often focus on the destination, and pay little attention to the journey required to get there. We as human beings are always looking for short cuts.
Some software managers see 100% code coverage as a must have, not really caring how that goal is achieved.
But it is the journey to 100% code coverage that provides the benefits that most associate with simply having 100% code coverage. Without taking the correct roads, you can easily create a unit test suite that exercises 100% of your code base, and still end up with a buggy, brittle, and poorly designed code base.
Kata is a Japanese word meaning “form”, and in the martial arts it describes a choreographed pattern of movements used to train yourself to the level of muscle memory. I study Kenpo myself and have a number of kata that I practice regularly both in training and at home.
Kent Beck is credited as the the TDD inventor. Yet, he claims he just re-discovered it.
When asked why does he refer to the rediscovery (not the invention) of test-driven development he explained:
The original description of TDD was in an ancient book about programming. It said you take the input tape, manually type in the output tape you expect, then program until the actual output tape matches the expected output.
When I lead the team that built NUnit we implemented SetUp and TearDown similar to the way they were implemented in JUnit. For those who do not know SetUp and TearDown are attributes on methods in a TestFixture that perform common initialization and destruction.
I work as a tester on a development team for a financial services company. Our software manages all aspects of 401(k) retirement plans. Even though we've been practicing agile development for eight years, or maybe because of it, our customers sometimes fall into a trap. Rather than tell us the business problem they need to solve, they give us a user story with the technical implementation already all figured out.
In a recent estimating meeting, our Product Owner read this story: "As a third-party administrator, I want to upload a loan, with my own loan term, interest rate, amount, and generate a corrective action to liquidate the funds and process the out check."
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