Chapter 14. Unit Testing and Testability

A revolution has occurred in software development over the last few years. From being the poor cousin of development, despised by those with more interesting and important things to do, testing— at least, unit testing—has been welcomed into the heart of the development process. At last, rather than seen as a tedious requirement of certain processes (for example, to achieve ISO 9001 compliance), it has been integrated into a highly productive way of working.

I think this is a very important, and very beneficial, change. In this chapter I'll try to explain why I attach so much importance to testability, and why testability considerations should influence how you go about designing and implementing applications.

Late in 2002 I spent several weeks developing a testing strategy for a large J2EE project for a major financial institution. I was working alongside a testing guru, and my remit was to combine my J2EE expertise with his experience formulating testing strategies for large projects to formulate a testing strategy covering the entire project lifecycle. I was asked to recommend changes in development practice where necessary to ensure that the strategy was applied. I was also to ensure the developers came onboard, and mentor them in the coding and testing techniques.

I learned a lot.

  • I discovered that my code was much easier to test than that of most of the developers on the project. My programming style, described in Expert One-on-One J2EE ...

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