Producing high-quality work ahead of the proposed delivery date sounds great, right? Implementing test-driven development (TDD) and unit testing can assist development teams in achieving just that. It allows engineers to sit back and analyze how data impacts the project's success at a higher level. Here are the basics of TDD and some tips for executing within software development teams.
What is Test-Driven Development?
Test-driven development is an engineering approach to completing tasks methodically and strategically. Many engineers use this approach to attain high-quality work without slowing down the development process, which is done through unit testing and refactoring. When using TDD, the team has insight into whether the task is done correctly before sending it to Q/A.
Goals and Benefits
Test-driven development allows software engineers to validate the code's functionality and autonomously identify errors. Doing so allows the development team to reduce reliance on Q/A and focus on integration testing. As a result, the team will become more efficient because they can trust that the basic-level concerns are taken care of. Code coverage is an indication that TDD is being used within a project.
The benefits of using test-driven development are:
- Optimizes the creation of code
- Increase the quality of work and quicker software delivery
- Faster Innovation
It's best to introduce the test-driven development process at the beginning of a new project. Doing so allows the engineer to enforce the rules at the beginning to combat resistance from developers. It becomes much more complicated and timelier to transition to test-driven development once a project has started. When using this approach, it's essential to set expectations on code coverage because, after the project, there must be unit testing embedded in the code.
Common Pitfalls and Overcoming Them
When transitioning to new processes, there will always be setbacks and obstacles. Here are some common pitfalls engineers face when introducing the test-driven development process to their teams and strategies to overcome them.
Resistance: Some engineers experience resistance from those who have never used unit testing or had a previous negative experience. To successfully overcome this common setback, the engineer must set rules and expectations at the beginning of the project. It's a matter of engineers enforcing the process so that developers can embrace it.
Timeliness: There's no doubt that writing code for unit tests can be highly time-consuming. It may seem like a chore to software developers who don't see the value of the tests. By clearly communicating the significance and benefit of writing unit tests, developers can better understand its impact on speeding up the delivery process.
Intimidation: For engineers who have never used the test-driven development process, it's common to feel overwhelmed and intimidated. However, there are tools like Sonarqube available to assist in the transition. Using these tools allows developers to write cleaner and safer code.
Using test-driven development elevates the delivery process allowing teams to innovate quicker. It can save developers time in the long run, so they can channel that energy into solving more complex defects. Consider adding TDD in practice to save time and improve code quality.