Through our last post, you should know what TDD – Test Driven Development is, and today, we will discuss some of the advantages of this approach and the reasons why you should choose TDD. Here are a few for you to consider!
TDD In A Nutshell
TDD approach has been around in use since 1999. It is a vital element of the emerging test first approach to development related and extreme programming. In 2003, it was rediscovered by an American Software developer. After being rediscovered, it became a way to create simple designs and inspire developers’ confidence. In this fast paced agile development environment, TDD is such a software development process that enable very short feedback cycles in which developers perform the following activities:
- Create a test that fails instantly.
- Write clean and concise code to pass the test quickly.
- Refactor the program written in two steps, utilizing the created tests as a reference.
Where Can Test Driven Development Fit?
A test driven development approach is suitable for both greenfield software development and legacy systems. For a software development team concerned with existing legacy software, the best way to start is to work on bug fixing. The ideal practice followed by top software developers is to create a test that addresses the broken bug and then fixes the detected problem for each bug detected. After performing several iteration practices, the developers will create a repeatable test to address bug fixes. Moreover, it is recommended that when applying this methodology to new software applications, learn the technology stack compatible testing tools. Thus using TDD methodology, the approach would be to:
- Decide a specific portion of the functionality to be built with that component.
- Create such a unit test that instantly fails to target this particular portion of the functionality.
- Run the test runner to ensure a failing test.
- Write a unique code in a specific programming language that will make the written test pass.
- At last, make any refactoring change in the program after confirming passing, and then again use the test guidelines to ensure that code does not break functionality.
Primary Considerations When Using TDD
It is crucial to understand that TDD will not solve all programming problems. Many other testing approaches are also required to create a fully comprehensive testing strategy, including acceptance tests. However, TDD mainly focuses on a single unit code at a time. So, when testing sophisticated software with many units of code and corresponding testing, it ensures that quality stays high when following TDD methodology. Whereas, if you avoid testing, it can generate the risk of test creation becoming a hindrance for software developers.
For instance, when you ignore failing tests, it makes things complicated to determine the actual state of the application. In addition to this, it is also essential to have buy in for the TDD approach to involve all team members’ efforts. Thus, spend time discussing the reasons and benefits of the TDD approach to believe that using TDD will improve the resulting product.
Advantages Of Using TDD – Test Driven Development Methodology
TDD methodology is considered a blanched approach for software development mainly related to three primary tasks; coding, testing, and designing. In TDD, instead of chasing an optimal solution, the program and test for the development are built for one use case at a time. Thus, it streamlines the software development process and makes it more efficient by quickly delivering feedback and encouraging software developers to write solid and clean code.
Here let’s take a deeper look at the advantages of using TDD:
1 Reduces Time Spent On Debugging And Bug Fixes
When we start the bug correction process, we usually try to reproduce the error and then debug the flow where the bug occurs. It finally analyzes the status of the search objects at the root of the problem. When you do not have tests, you need to perform a functional test again to debug. Whereas if you write a unit test that “stimulates” the system to go through the faulty code, you are “playing” the error without running the application as a whole.
2 Assists Regression Testing
It is common to detect a new bug while fixing the existing one. In other words, correcting a bug may have a side effect on different parts of the software. When this occurs, we say that the software has regressed. They are called “regression tests”; the test aims to check the system’s overall health when a bug is fixed or when a new feature is implemented. The use of TDD will reduce the introduction of the side effect along with the code changes. Of course, in TDD, only the part of the code covered by unit tests is provisioned. In addition, when a test fails to pass after a change, you only identify a bug close to it was introduced.
3 Improves Code Quality
The TDD encourages you to think before developing the solution, allowing you to create the simplest solutions. There is an essential phrase in TDD, i.e., “If it takes many lines of code creating objects for a simple assertion, then there is something wrong.” This lets you know if you are going in the right direction to build the solution or whether it is tightly coupled, modularized, or simplified.
4 Documentation For Tests
The tests help us document the system if we name it well. We should think before coding and do minor tests for each piece of the functionality. In simple words, practically, we must write a readable test; if we stop seeing all the tests of a feature, we have to use practical case documentation.
5 Refactoring Constant
As the TDD cycle itself suggests, the last step is refactoring. Then, for each test you write, look at the code again. If you feel unsure about it, there is a need to refactor it. The great advantage of working with automated testing is that we have the security to make changes. This is because our tests are too unsure that our code will still work. Another exciting aspect is that we avoid unnecessary repetition by refactoring every “green,” making the code more readable.
6 Easy Maintenance of Code
An organized code is much easier to manage when it comes to modifications. So, when TDD methodology is applied, developers naturally produce a cleaner, readable and manageable code. Moreover, focusing on smaller and digestible code modules requires less effort of developers and makes it easier to adhere to test requirements. To ensure clean code production, you need to transfer tasks between different members of your product team.
7 Increase ROI will keeping Project Costs Low
Implement TDD methodology, the general cost of the software development project typically decreases. Plus, maintenance and bug fixing also take less time and effort. Thus, low expenses are required for building a custom marketplace, SaaS products, and other custom app development solutions. Moreover, the cost saving continues over the lifecycle of the whole development project. Thus, a project without a “test first” approach will become expensive in the long run. Whereas, when there is no test coverage in the project, it is at a higher risk of failure, various bugs, and other technical issues. Consequently, without built in testing standards, most development teams will spend more time fixing all software bugs.
8 Prompt Feedback through TDD
A streamlined TDD approach helps the project development team members to improve their delivering capabilities by providing immediate feedback on developed components. Thus, a shorter feedback sharing loop squeezes the turnaround time for eliminating bugs detected. Resultantly, the outcome is comparatively much better than it is in traditional waterfall methodology.
9 Reliable Solutions with TDD
With TDD methodology, both the developers and other team members can ensure the reliability of developed solutions. It also helps in understanding what goes right and wrong after refactoring or adding new features.
Without TDD, developers are unaware of the latest changes, and they don’t know how recent updates will work with previous perfect code built. On the downside, any new changes can break the solution if it lacks TDD. Essentially, yet another reason that TDD allows developers to be Agile and worrying less about the effectiveness of further changes.
10 Requirements Clarification
In addition, using a test driven development approach, you can clarify all requirements one more time and make your project meet all the requirements. By implementing TDD methodology, you can study what input data should be provided and what outcomes your customer wants to get.
The conclusion from the above advantages of TDD methodology states that TDD is more acceptable for writing software with complex algorithms. We can certainly say that software developers who work with the TDD approach have more structured thinking and mainly provide precise estimations. Several best practices strengthen the final code with TDD like CI, Code Reviews, Refactoring, etc. However, to obtain a solution that meets the requirements, you should consider other obstacles apart from the tech stack. At Clutox, we have experts of all best practices, including applying TDD where it is essential. Our case by case approach and tremendous experience in the tech industry allows us to determine the best techniques which will exactly meet your requirements. Interested in the methodologies we use to deliver high quality software products to our customers? Discover our approaches and be one of our customers entertained with top notch software development services.