If you are in the software industry, you might have heard about TDD expanding as Test-Driven Development. It is nothing but a testing technique that aids in achieving not only speed but also quality with its particularly structured mechanisms.
Nowadays, most businesses irrespective of size are on the constant lookout for ways to bring down costs. Also, they wish to race up to the market at the same time. This is why many software testing techniques and approaches are being introduced to achieve not only speed but also quality when developing software programs and applications. However, many software developing companies also outsource the testing for business-critical applications and software. The reason for outsourcing is to leverage expertise and reduce the time to market. They do this for improving the quality of code, cost-effectiveness and to improve productivity.
At the same time, it is becoming critical these days to develop resilient and robust software programs. This is becoming important for many industries. For instance, when you take the case of financial/banking applications, they have a lot of offshoots for the completion of the key transactions. Also, most companies engaged in software development believe that when they get third-party expertise on board, they can gain practical insights into the quality of the code and can get undoubted proof to reiterate that the software meets the purpose for which it was developed.
This rule of outsourcing software testing applies to organizations that follow Test-Driven Development as well. However, organizations can stop outsourcing testing when they follow TDD because they can complete the testing with agility. So, they can continue to have their precious time to focus on software development as against testing.
Test-Driven Development Benefits:
When you follow the TDD best practices, you can get a lot of benefits from this approach to software development. The important reason to consider using TDD is to develop smaller test cycles. In turn, you can achieve better agility in the software development process. With Test-Driven Development, you can begin by scripting the test cases for a fresh feature. This should be followed by a production code needed for passing the test. Following this, you will have to refactor the code to achieve better sustainability.
TDD is a technique used not only for designing but also testing an application or software. This technique stands unique because the unit tests are written by testers even before the code is written by developers. In turn, developers can get quicker confirmation on whether the code behaves as per their expectations. Here are some reasons to consider using TDD for your software testing and development process:
1. You can follow the best Test-Driven Development practices
2. It will be possible to reduce development costs
3. You can release the software quickly to the market
4. It will be possible for your developers to develop well-defined and neat codes
5. You can make sure that the developed code works as expected.
6. It will boost the process of generating quality code
As mentioned earlier, when you use TDD, you can follow the Test-Driven Development best practices. But, what is the best practices of this approach to software development and testing will be your question. Let us throw some light on some TDD best practices here:
The Best TDD Practices:
1. Avoid Functional Complexity:
One of the best Test-Driven Development practices is that this technique insists you pay attention to a single feature or functionality at a time. You can communicate the same with your entire team to make sure that the test case covers the desired feature in all possible ways. Here, the test case is the driving force. So, it should be revisited frequently for completeness and correctness.
2. Ensure the Failure of Each Test Initially:
Yes, what you have heard just now is right. The reason is that a test will be considered good only when it fails before it is rectified. You might wonder why? The reason is that when the test fails initially, you can understand that something is not right in your code. After you make the required changes to your code, the test will pass.
By doing this, you can make sure that the test covers the part of the code. So now, the test that passes shows an improvement in the structure or design of your code. Above all, it will give you the satisfaction that you are on the right path.
3. Make Sure that the Development Team Understands TDD:
Writing a test can at times need more effort as compared to writing code. So, it is better to make sure that your development team understands Test-Driven Development once you have decided to use this technique for development and testing.
4. Prepare a Roadmap for Tests:
When you use TDD, it means that you will test first before you develop any code. This is why it is also called the test-first approach. It aids you with the validation of the tests created with ease.
Here, you can use the red-green refactor routine. The initial step in this routine is to create a red test and make sure that all issues pertaining to the code are exposed properly.
The test-first approach helps you to validate the created tests with ease. With the red-green refactor routine, the first step is to create a ‘red’ test and ensure that all problems related to the code are exposed.
With the test-first approach, you can sketch your thoughts initially. Then, you can break it down into test cases. So, before you begin using the test-driven approach, TDD best practices suggest you create a roadmap of tests so that you can get an idea of the approach. This is particularly applicable and appropriate for a methodology, where you expect constant distractions.
5. Pay Attention to What You Wish to Achieve:
Ensure that you understand, where the code should be called and outline the test suite appropriately. Make sure that the test cases follow typical naming conventions and showcase what requires to be achieved by the end of the development process. This is something important to follow as functionality continues to become part of the iterations. Developers entering fresh into the team should be in a position to look at the test and understand the expected functionality.
6. Work on one Feature at a Time:
When you follow TDD, one of the best Test-Driven Development practices you should follow is to work on a single feature at a time. The reason is that TDD has been designed to be precise and iterative. Before you write a code for the feature in question, you should first write a test. Also, you should define the result you expect at this time. Then, once the feature is implemented, run the tests once again to make sure that the code runs as expected. This practice can help irrespective of whether you wish to test big or small features. When you work on a feature, it is better to make sure that you break down it into smaller sections so that you can easily tackle them. In turn, you can stay more productive and focused on developing the feature to the utmost satisfaction of end-users.
7. Use a Development Pipeline:
Once your testers write all tests, add them to the development pipeline. After this, run all of them in the pipeline in such a way that the pipeline should stop in the event of a test failure. When you follow this practice, you can easily spot the problematic area and should take appropriate corrective actions. Once corrected, you can run the pipeline again to ensure that the error is rightly rectified now.
8. Spell out the Rules:
Once the rules/standards are set, it aids with organizing the tests in a more logical pattern. Also, you will have to make the testing tools go in line with these rules. Further, it should be ensured that every member of the team is aware of the rules so that implementation will become easier and it is in proper sync. Further, more popular rules should be implemented to make sure that new entrants into the team can easily understand so that they can benefit from the knowledge they already have.
9. Maintain Code Severity:
Also, one of the Test-Driven Development best practices to follow is to make sure that your code has sufficient stuff to meet your test case. This is a fundamental requirement of TDD and it helps with bringing down the probability of errors and will also make the testing and review process simple. Nevertheless, you should also make sure that the code is understandable and permits future improvements.
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Test-Driven Development aids with the creation of a solid foundation for complex systems that are being developed these days. Most of the TDD best practices discussed above will help with improving your TDD and the quality of code. Remember that nothing will happen overnight. Many of these practices will help you write better and maintainable codes when you follow Test-Driven Development approach in your organization for software development and testing.