Caring for Your Tests

The benefit of automating your features is that you’ll be able to trust them as living documentation in the long run, because you’ll be checking each scenario against the production code to make sure it’s still valid. For the programmers working on the code, there’s another benefit too: those tests act as a safety net when they’re working on the system, alerting them to any mistakes they make that break existing behavior.

So, your features work as a feedback mechanism to the whole team about the behavior of the system and to the programmers about whether they’ve broken anything. For these feedback loops to be useful, the tests need to be fast and they need to be reliable. Let’s start by looking at problems that affect ...

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