The Argument for Test Driven Development

Nov 2, 2022 | Best Practices, Test Automation Insights

Unit testing is a process that has become popular in software development over the years. It allows developers to maintain simple, bug-free code that they can manage easily in the future. While automation testing and testing tools for software code can seem challenging, they don’t have to be.

That’s where test driven development comes in.

What Is Test Driven Development?

What is test driven development in Agile? Test driven development, or TDD, is a practice in software development based on Agile model driven development platform policies with an emphasis on extreme programming. With TDD, coding, writing unit tests, and refactoring become tightly intertwined to create the TDD methodology, and you can enact a Python test driven development process or an agile test driven development process, among others. 

When are the tests written in a test driven development environment? In short, tests must be written prior to the passing code. 

There are specific rules that developers follow when using TDD. A test driven development example would be: 

  • Describe a feature of the program you’re working on, and write a single unit test code based on that feature.
  • Run the single unit test, but expect failure since the feature does not currently exist.
  • Write the most straightforward possible source code to ensure the test works.
  • Refactor, or design, the code, keeping in mind the simplicity principle.
  • Repeat the process, running unit tests periodically.

Simply put, test driven development is a process in which programmers develop test cases before preparing features and functions. Developers design tests ahead of time to test even the smallest software functionality.

How Test Driven Development Compares To Traditional Testing

Traditional testing emphasizes the test case design, whereas TDD focuses primarily on production code. Unlike traditional testing, TDD requires the project to meet all defined requirements. Every line of code in TDD is tested in increments, as the code develops, while traditional tests are run after the fact.

When comparing the two, TDD is more effective overall since developers will run tests during each stage of the development process. TDD is an efficient way to write code thanks to:

  • A reduction in the time it takes to build and launch products  
  • An improvement in performance due to the tests being conducted before changing functionality
  • Simplified written tests that support the project’s longevity
  • Easy identification of architecture in tests
  • Integration testing 
  • Compliance testing 
  • Cleaner code

Why Companies Are Leaning Towards Test Driven Processes

There are a few reasons why companies favor test driven development processes over traditional testing methods. They include the following.

Improves Code Quality

The quality of your code is essential to the health and longevity of your software. Your code’s quality will guarantee the safety of your codebase, ensuring both a sense of security and reliability. With cybercrime continually increasing, ensuring that your code is reliable and secure is more critical than ever.

One significant benefit of implementing TDD in your software development process is that it helps you improve your code quality. How? When you use TDD, you’re adding small pieces of functionality in increments, running tests along the way to find and eliminate technical issues. Additionally, TDD uses an accessible coding format where you only code the necessary elements and nothing more, thus creating a simple and easy-to-read code.

You won’t find a developer who disagrees that code quality is essential, so why wouldn’t you want to improve your code’s quality with test driven development?

Reduces Costs and Technical Debt

Technical debt happens a lot more than it should. Sometimes programmers take shortcuts in writing their code only to end up with code that is unattractive and hard to manage. In addition, a programmer will often borrow from future resources to finish current tasks, and while this can help speed up processes in the present, it can also lead to technical debt. In the end, technical debt will hurt your productivity, and your team will be left trying to decode and manage a complicated code.

TDD focuses on repetitive and short development cycles. TDD developers write simple code in increments, writing just enough to pass automated tests. They will then refactor and optimize the code and repeat the process until their software is complete. Since they’re focusing on simplicity, they don’t need to borrow future resources, which helps them reduce costs and technical debt.

Produces Fewer Errors Compared To Manual Tests

Errors in code are bound to happen. However, with manual testing, you’re prone to incurring even more errors because manual testing is susceptible to human error and can produce inaccurate test results. Additionally, manual testing relies on human intervention, and humans are likely to overlook flaws in code, which are then sent to the customer. When you send a flawed product to a customer, you risk losing thousands of dollars.  

The entire idea behind TDD is being able to test code as you go, which reduces the risk of errors. While errors may still happen, it will be easier to catch them when they do, since you’re consistently testing the code.

Increases Productivity of Your Development Team

Productivity is key to successful software development. When you are assessing productivity, you’ll typically track how fast you and your team produce functional software against the cost and labor it takes to produce.

Since TDD is written and tested before the actual code is implemented, it’s able to quickly detect errors, allowing programmers to fix any technical issues right away. Plus, TDD’s code is simple in nature, meaning that programmers can easily come back to manage the code without struggling to decipher it. TDD often results in reusable code too, which also helps increase overall productivity.

Find the Testing Framework That Works for You

Finding the right testing framework for you and your team of developers can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. In choosing your framework, consider the following:

  • Business objectives 
  • Project requirements
  • Budgets
  • Tech stack
  • Detailed specifications, such as production code, code duplication, external modules, and automatic execution 

Once you have shortlisted a few frameworks, you can evaluate and compare your choices to decide which one is right for you.

If you’re still unsure, reach out to Ranorex. We’re a test automation company committed to helping our customers work out the kinks in their software. With our products Ranorex Studio, Ranorex Selocity, and Ranorex DesignWise, we offer many services to help you with your specific needs. No matter which one you choose, our services are unbeatable. We combine easy-to-use low-code and no-code automation tools to take the headache out of automated testing.

Contact us today for more information.

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