C. Keith Ray

C. Keith Ray writes about and develops software in multiple platforms and languages, including iOS® and Macintosh®.
Keith's Résumé (pdf)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Purpose of Unit Tests Is Not Recreating the Entire Running Environment

One of the "Aha!" experiences/epiphanies of a programmer I was working with, was the realization that a unit test only needs to test a "unit". He had been setting up real-life data, when a little "fake" data would verify the desired behavior.

Unit testing also makes the code more robust, because side-effects that might not be seen in a system test, can be found by unit tests exercising all the edge-cases for each function or behavior being tested—particularly testing situations that are hard to replicate in the real system.

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