Writing automated tests means writing code. It means going through processes that regular code goes through. Like code review, and refactoring. I see a lot of hesitation when it comes to refactoring one’s own code, possibly because we feel that if our code needs correction, we did a crappy job writing it the first time. But that is not the case, and refactoring should be seen as a good thing. It is meant for changing something from good to even better. Continue reading Refactoring is allowed
Suppose you are starting work on a new piece of software that you will need to write automated tests for. Your goal is to cover the most relevant test scenarios that apply to the feature , without missing or forgetting one. Below are a few steps (guidelines) to help you achieve identifying those required scenarios (a sort of ‘how i do it and it works for me’ guide). Continue reading How to identify the test scenarios you have to automate
I’m thinking you should, in no particular order…
- Start from the basic . When learning a new language, start from the beginning. Understand the elementary notions of it. Make sure you know what the language represents, what it is used for, how to write it properly. Read the tutorials, try out the examples.
- Be lazy. Don’t reinvent the wheel. If you need some code that someone has already developed, use it. Use existing libraries where possible.
- Modularize, don’t copy paste. When you know you have bits of code that will repeat themselves, extract them in a separate method and call that method wherever the code is needed.
- Think and plan before you write your tests. Take time to analyze the requirements, to discuss the implementation with the developers, in order to identify the broadest and most relevant set of test cases. Take notes. Visualize how regular users will interact with the site. Make sketches. Jumping into testing just to finish it will make you skip some obvious scenarios.
- Name things properly. Whenever you pick a name for a method, attribute or test scenario, make it relevant to what it is supposed to do. Describe it as much as possible. Use a decent amount of letters (not 2-3 and not 100).
- Ask questions. Whenever something is not clear, or when you just need a confirmation of how well you understand the requirements, ask the people around you for information. No matter how basic or stupid the question might sound, it’s the start of a conversation which benefits all the people included in it.
- Separate concerns. Don’t put all the code in one class. Analyze what you must write. What part is the setup, what part is the verification? Usually tests should largely focus on the actual testing, not the setup, so maybe extract that part into a separate class/unit, so that you minimize how large a test it. Also, you can put in all validations in a separate place. In this case, when you read the test, you should have – a line of code which calls the setup; the test logic; one line of code that performs the validation (if possible).
I wrote a Java method, whose signature contains a number of parameters. This method is called by many other methods (i use the method in my tests). After a while i realize one of the parameters is not needed anymore. I want to change the method signature and to update all its’ references throughout my code.
Writing proper code in your IDE is made easier when using IntelliJ, due to its’ code analysis features. One option to perform a comprehensive coding issue search is to use the Inspect Code feature IntelliJ provides. From the class you want to check for issues, right click (inside the class, in the editor) and choose Analyze –> Inspect Code. Continue reading Improving your code by using IntelliJ’s Inspections feature