Finding Problems Early: Unit Testing

Unit testing is one of those essential components of software development that's often not practiced at all or is done in an ad hoc fashion. The idea is that when a system component or unit is written, a set of simple tests is also written to verify that the component works as expected. The tests for all the components in a system should be run on a regular basis, such as after a nightly build, to verify that changes in one part of a system have not broken the expected behavior of another part of the system. Although that seems like a lot of work, and at first glance it might be, thankfully there is a tool called JUnit that speeds the process of writing the tests and automates running them. JUnit is freely ...

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