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The Advantages and Methods of Implementing Unit Testing/



Michael is a software engineer and startup growth expert with 10+ years of software engineering and machine learning experience.

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The Advantages and Methods of Implementing Unit Testing
The Advantages and Methods of Implementing Unit Testing
The Advantages and Methods of Implementing Unit Testing

Are you skeptical about unit testing? Is it worth diverting the team’s attention from development to improving the codebase? The repetitive process of evaluating code, mocking data, defining test groups and function signatures, writing tests, and tweaking code can be daunting for developers.

Furthermore, managers need to consider the team’s resources and balance the costs of implementing unit testing. Opting out of unit testing may be due to a project’s limited scope, such as a small team or limited working hours when meeting a deadline, or budget constraints.

However, incorporating unit testing can be as effortless as checking if the milk is fresh before adding it to your coffee. In the long term, unit testing unquestionably enhances the project’s development process and reduces costs, as we will see in our discussion of the benefits of unit testing and the common approaches for its implementation.

Benefits of Unit Testing for Your Projects

Unit testing is a valuable technique that involves testing small units of code to ensure they behave as intended during the app development process. By detecting issues early on through unit testing, you can reduce debugging time and save money.

Cost Savings After Production

Integrating unit testing into the development process can improve the overall quality of your application, resulting in fewer bugs and malfunctions for QA engineers or developers to address. This can lead to reduced post-production workload, resulting in lower project costs and faster completion times.

By reducing workload, managers can save costs by shortening QA team contract periods and scheduling upcoming projects earlier. Additionally, developers can move on to new projects sooner, resulting in even more cost savings. With unit testing, you can ensure that you have laid a solid foundation to avoid potential disasters.

Ways Unit Testing Drives Revenue Growth

Unit testing not only reduces post-production costs but also improves the application experience, leading to satisfied and loyal users who recommend the app to others. Positive reviews and recommendations can increase the app’s earning potential exponentially. Additionally, avoiding negative reviews is crucial for financial success since some consumers seek out unfavorable information.

Effective Documentation

Unit tests provide a stopgap documentation that helps bring new developers up to speed on an application. By reviewing unit tests, siloed teams can fill knowledge gaps and gain insights into the application as a whole. Even with different team organization and communication styles, developers can extract valuable information from unit tests that may be insufficiently documented or buried under extensive notes.

The Advantages of SMART Goals in Unit Testing

The systematic nature of unit testing breaks down projects into easily digestible segments, which correspond to SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) goals. Achieving SMART goals improves project transparency, keeping stakeholders and leadership informed about team progress. This encourages developers to plan ahead and write organized code, where each code unit is dedicated to a single function and tested for intended behavior. This approach ensures separation of concerns, as each project unit is designed to serve a specific objective and every function is scoped to fulfill only its own purpose. Having easily manageable units facilitates the project’s tracking and provides a sense of accomplishment as milestones are met, leading to a happier team compared to one with unclear or distant goals.

Code Stability and Feature Development

Unit testing plays a crucial role in ensuring that software code is stable and functional. For instance, let’s say we want to add a filter function to the previously tested global search-by-name feature. To achieve this, we create a new unit dedicated to filtering, and test it alongside the existing code. This way, we can be confident that the filtering unit will not cause any problems with the global search-by-name unit.

Improving Debugging

Unit testing simplifies the debugging process by making it easier to pinpoint and fix the root cause of a bug. For example, if the search feature is not working correctly, we can refer to the unit test results for the search module instead of scouring the entire codebase. This approach makes debugging faster and more efficient.

Efficient Refactoring

Unit testing enables developers to refactor their code without compromising its functionality. If a feature such as global search-by-name is working perfectly but is too slow, developers can replace the algorithm and retest the feature using the unit testing framework. This approach ensures that the feature still works as expected post-refactor, saving developers time and effort.

Unit Testing Strategies

When it comes to testing, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Project managers need to decide how much unit testing is necessary for success, taking into account the trade-offs between time invested and code quality. Once the scope of unit testing is established, the project manager can choose from various testing strategies.

Unit Testing Scope

Unit testing is like an insurance policy for your project, but the amount of coverage needed varies depending on the individual’s risk tolerance. There are three common unit testing plans:

  1. Sequentially testing the entire codebase.
  2. Testing the entire codebase in order of importance.
  3. Targeted unit testing, which focuses on critical parts of the code that are most likely to cause problems.

Developers are well-suited to determine which parts of the code to test and how to test them, given their knowledge of each code snippet’s purpose. Targeted unit testing is often the most practical approach given project constraints.

Unit Testing Approaches

There are two industry standards for unit testing approaches:

  1. Post-implementation testing, where developers write tests after features have been implemented.
  2. Test-driven development (TDD), where developers write code and tests together for each feature requirement use case.

Post-implementation testing is a more common practice since it appeals to managers who prioritize development speed. In comparison, TDD requires discipline and patience throughout the project’s duration.