Unit testing is a process to verify the code behavior, but most of the time, I ended up with developers who either didn’t find it exciting or didn’t know how to write the unit test cases. Stackoverflow, in one of its surveys, revealed that 37.6% of respondents admitted their companies had not employed unit testing in their development practice. Another survey from Diffblue also reported that 42% of respondents admitted they avoid writing test cases to focus more on developing the new features.
Well, most developers don’t like writing tests because of the lack of information.
Therefore, we are going to shed some light on the five common unit testing myths that need to be elucidated by every developer and business to avoid lousy development practices and to deliver quality code.
Top 5 Common Unit Testing Myths to Get Rid Of
Myth 1: Unit Testing is time-consuming
This is the most common misconception that I used to hear from most of the developers. It’s just that they don’t like writing unit tests, especially when they have a lot on their plates. The truth is that it increases the development speed and saves time in the long run.
If the code is not unit tested early, the development team might encounter a lot of issues later as it’s hard to trace and debug it in the vast codebase. Unit testing tells you that everything is working correctly, and if something goes wrong, you can quickly figure out where the bug is and fix it quickly. Several test suites and tools like JUnit, EMMA, and JMockit are also available to make unit testing an easy task for developers.
Myth 2: Unit Testing is not worth it
Another misconception developers often have is that unit testing isn’t worth the investment. Developers sometimes find it complicated and time-consuming due to the tightly-coupled classes, inter-dependencies, etc. But, it’s not the complete truth. Yes, unit tests are a little complicated, but that doesn’t mean it’s useless. On the contrary, unit testing is the first step towards the code’s robustness and guarantees smooth performance.
If developers don’t like investing time and effort in unit testing, it might take a significant toll on the quality and performance of the code. Moreover, it will add extra time to the product completion due to lots of compound errors. So, what’s the best practice for Unit testing one must opt for?
Unit test the code during the development and keep the test cases small.
Myth 3: Unit Testing is meant for complex projects
Often developers make assumptions that unit testing is meant to perform on complex projects. It’s not for simple projects with static content, a single page application with some HTML and CSS content, then you’re mistaken. It doesn’t matter how big or small your application is or how complex the code is. It should be unit tested for the sake of the stability and robustness of the software.
Myth 4: Unit testing is to detect the bugs
One of the most common myths every developer or business team has is that the unit test checks the code to detect errors. Neither is it used to identify bugs nor to check the implementation. Indeed, it does test each unit of code to verify the desired behavior of a functionality.
Developers are supposed to isolate each testable part of the code and run unit tests (manual and automated unit testing) to check if the code is working properly. If not, then a better code can be written. The best part of unit testing is that it somewhat pushes developers to write good code, which is a good practice. What’s more, it also makes code refactoring possible in the future.
Myth 5: Unit Tests are complicated
It’s been frequently misapprehended by developers that unit tests are complicated. Reasons could be the tightly coupled code, classes with several responsibilities, or the complex code. Unfortunately, all of these reasons make developers conclude unit tests as a difficult task. Well, this problem can easily be solved by writing good code and following best practices. In addition, several automation tools and testing frameworks like JUnit, NUnit, etc., are also available to ease the whole process of writing unit tests.
It’s no wonder that many novice developers are uncertain about the necessity and significance of the unit test. And, this article has made developers understand the unit testing myths they haven’t been aware of.
Embracing unit testing can save developers from serious errors and help them write quality code that can be easily refactored at a later stage of development. Consequently, it saves time in the long run for finding and fixing bugs in the codebase. What’s more, development teams can also deliver quality applications that are sustainable in this competitive market.