For this project, I put a lot of time into writing tests. Now they’re paying off. User acceptance testing and beta testing is going to be limited thanks to some real-world project constraints, so we’ll have to catch more bugs ourselves.
I want to get to 100% test coverage. That will go a long way to increasing our confidence in the results.
We had neglected our tests in the beginning, so the autogenerated tests fell out of sync. A few weeks ago, I put in around six hours to get everything back into shape.
Once that was sorted out, I looked for ways to encourage us to keep the tests working. After briefly experimenting with autotest, I settled for using git precommit hooks to force us to run tests before checking code in. Fortunately, the other developer agreed with this idea, so I set up the same script on her system.
Rspec was great for detailed tests, but I missed the expressiveness of Cucumber. After a few more hours of work, I got our Cucumber tests to work again. I wrote a number of tests from different users’ perspectives, then added Cucumber to the pre-commit hook.
The next step in our testing journey was to set up code coverage analysis. It took a little hacking to get rcov to play nicely with cucumber and rspec, but I got that to work too. Now we can get a sense of what still needs to be tested, and we have clear goals: 100% of code covered by tests, and 100% of user stories matched up with tests too.
On another project, I’ve been working on automated tests with Selenium. I hate letting the clients run into bugs, and I hate breaking things I thought I’d already fixed. I also hate clicking around and doing repetitive actions. As we run into things I’ve broken and as I change things, I write tests.
For me, test-driven development is incredibly motivating: the carrot of seeing tests pass and coverage stats go up, the stick of embarrassment when things break. =) I can take advantage of that energy and change my development habits.
My next development goals related to testing:
- behaviour-driven development and business-user-compatible test cases
- 100% code coverage from day one
- integrating Selenium tests into our build scripts
- Selenium web driver screenshots to assist in keeping user documentation up to date
- writing automated tests for life – making progress!