Software development always requires a serious approach and a proper analysis of forthcoming development process matters a lot. Quality and good price are two main aspects that are important for the customer. And there are special methodologies that can help developers reduce development costs without a loss of quality. Test-driven development is one of such methodology we would like to discuss today. Let’s find out more about its advantages and capabilities.
Test-driven development definition
In fact, TDD is the approach that allows developers to create a software on a test basis. How is it implemented? QA specialist writes a test that includes all main functionality future app should have. When this stage is completed, the task of the programmer is to breathe life into this functionality, that means he should write a code. But it is strictly required to follow all tests written before. And the final stage includes code refactoring to make it work.
That’s all. Three stages to create a high-quality app. Now let’s proceed to the next point – why TDD is a useful technology.
Why you need TDD
If you know, software testing basic requirements include the necessity to verify how software is functioning. Testing makes it possible to check the performance of each action. If everything works as it was planned, the test is successfully completed. Otherwise, all detected bugs should be fixed.
In the case of test-driven development, your test can be automated and it helps create a test where all requirements for future code are indicated.
Test-driven development: its strong sides
There are a few reasons why TDD is recommended to use in some cases. Reasons are the following:
TDD makes it possible to write a good and working test, and, in turn, it allows developers to write modular code. To avoid any challenges related to the absence of modular code, test-driven development can be applied.
A straightforward way to maintain code
As we wrote above, the last stage of TDD development includes refactoring. And refactoring process becomes much easier due to modular code. In addition, TDD comes along with a higher security of the development process since the test is implemented before code programming. There are modular tests that are created mandatory and it accelerates refactoring.
With the help of test-driven development, all developers can cooperate with each other easily. They can make changes in code if it is necessary even if it was written by other specialists. The matter is that they always orient on tests first, so if everything goes wrong in the code – test will let them know.
Forget about bugs
The test comes first, not code. Therefore, the probability to make a mistake in code comes to naught. The test is created long before the software will be implemented so any bug can be detected at the very beginning.
During the test-driven development it is possible to verify all requirements as many times as necessary, so it is the reason for a software free of bugs. Developers can see what should be done and what functionality should be implemented in the end.
Having listed main advantages, we didn’t tell you about the main one – TDD helps cut costs. We think this issue should be put in a separate paragraph.
Cut development cost using TDD
Of course, it is worth noting that developers and QA specialists spend as much time for test-driven development as ordinary development requires. Because it is necessary to write all tests that should be high-quality ones. So it needs time. However, when the stage of coding is finished, the process moves much faster since software is already tested and there are no bugs. It means that testing is performed automatically after each modification.
Thus, the development cost will be lower since developers will spend less time on fixing and changing. No problems – no additional cost, everything is simple. As a result, a customer is satisfied that his or her software was developed with minimal costs. Due to automated permanent testing, time is cut, the cost is cut, bingo!
Now it is the time to discuss main steps how to implement TDD in a right way.
Main steps to perform TDD
There are 4 main steps that each developer should perform to achieve the best result:
1. Tests should be set one by one
The first step you should take into account is the number of tests for a future software. There should be an order in all tests since it is very important, the software will implement all functionality step by step. A wise approach to test-driven development matters a lot. Moreover, if you plan to create a complicated software with a large number of complex algorithms, an order in tests has the highest priority.
2. Follow specification
All important requirements in the specification should be abided by. All development team should do it, and then the process of tests building will go efficiently. Apart from following rules, QA engineers should choose right testing tools that will be applicable in the specific case. Abiding by rules means that all new members of the team will not have a problem with the determination of all processes how that or another test works. Because everything is performed according to set requirements.
3. Implementation and testing must be segregated
Considering the experience of many developers, you should segregate implementation process and testing into a few directories. Two directories are the minimum. As a rule, the number of directories can be much more than two since the project’s size may vary, so it can be 3 directories or 15 directories, nobody knows it before the development starts.
4. Test classes should be named properly
A good rule you must follow – make sure that test classes are named with the same name as implementation classes are. If implementation class is called PressOnButton, then the test class should be given the same name. In addition, tested functions should have an individual name. It will help developers find the tested method they need.
Having listed test-driven development guide, we would like to add that if you want to create software using this method, the first thing you need is attention to details and scrupulousness. Then you will be able to develop a perfect software that the customer will be pleased with for sure. Follow the right road and may the force be with you!