Chapter 10. Testing

10.0. Introduction

It’s one thing to trust your code is correct today, but how will you feel about it in a week? A month? A year? When you’re long gone? For this kind of trust, we write tests for our code. A well-written suite of tests is a statement to yourself and to anyone that comes after you: “This is how this application works, now and so long as this test passes.”

In addition to tests, several other tools have recently sprung up in the Clojure space aimed at improving program reliability. Often, these focus on validating that data looks as expected to guard programs from receiving input they don’t know how to handle. These solutions range from optional static typing with algebraic types analyzed at compile time, down to simple preconditions.

Admittedly, testing is a bit of a hot-button topic in the Clojure community right now. People are starting to question whether these tests are worthwhile, or if there’s a better way to think about program verification. In recent years, techniques such as REPL-driven development, property-based testing, and optional typing have all popped up to fill perceived voids in the testing landscape.

This chapter covers all of the above. As much as we’d love to push the envelope, nothing beats a good old-fashioned unit test suite from time to time. At the same time, as we build more and more gargantuan applications, it is clear that simple unit tests are not always sufficient. We hope that regardless of your skill level or focus, ...

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