What if our development team could use effective testing to build a better, more polished app? Wouldn’t that be great?
Test Driven Development has been around for more than two decades. It was initially associated with extreme programming, the goal of which is to maximize the quality and responsiveness of software.
This methodology has, over the last few years, gained popularity as a stand-alone approach to improving the productivity of development teams and generating better code.
However, rigorous testing of a product’s performance is often considered less important than meeting a project deadline in the quest for speed.
But did you know that, on average, a developer creates 70 bugs per 1,000 lines of code? Debugging them takes 75 percent of a developer’s time, which is equivalent to 1,500 hours of work per year.
What exactly is Test Driven Development?
Test Driven Development, TDD, is an approach to software development in which test cases are developed to specify and validate what the final code will do. In simple terms, the tests are written first, and then the code is necessary for the test to succeed.
TDD reduces the number of bugs in production and improves code quality. In other words, it makes the code easier to maintain and understand.
What are the benefits of Test Driven Development?
Now let’s take a closer look at the benefits that the Test Driven Development methodology brings to our company.
The tests carried out during this methodology ensure that the code remains focused and clear on the objective during each stage of development.
Automated testing can highlight bugs and their impact on the system, which in turn allows developers to catch bugs and other issues that arise as a result of their most recent code changes.
Identification of functionality problems
With Test Driven Development, it’s easy to spot functionality issues even while the software is being developed, making it possible to address them more quickly.
When you need to build an app that is fully functional from the first release, Test Driven Development can help you ensure that your app achieves its purpose.
Avoid code duplication
Thanks to this development, the codebase is constantly being cleaned up through refactoring, leaving room for new code to be added.
This process can harden the code and place it where it belongs in the code base.
The result is a clean code base, free of unnecessary duplication, making the software easier to modify and maintain.
Check code quality
The tests performed during development create quality metrics for the code.
So the developer team can use Test Driven Development to determine how good the code is. This way, they can develop more consistent code and fix any cracks they find in it.
Is Test Driven Development Right for Your Project?
It is important to know that we can use Test Driven Development for both new and legacy software projects. When this method is applied to legacy software, Test Driven Development uses testing to address individual bugs in a way that allows you to resolve them one by one.
But if you have an existing codebase that doesn’t have any unit tests, it can be difficult to get started with Test Driven Development. Also, it might not be worth using this method of development, on something that is already working.
In these situations, when we make changes, we should start by building some unit tests around the existing system.
These tests should be used to demonstrate that when you make changes, you are not breaking a working system.
As we build a test suite, we can look for opportunities to start following Test Driven Development methodology.
Of course, a recommendation, let’s not try to rewrite or start from scratch something that already works correctly, just to be able to use Test Driven Development.
What types of projects is Test Driven Development suitable for?
We can affirm that test-based development is ideal for carrying out projects such as:
- Projects to develop an application from scratch for a new platform without restrictions
- Projects that focus on functionality
- Projects that require a short execution time
- Long-term software projects that require modulation to facilitate extensibility and continued development
- Projects that need to be optimized in terms of cost and features, that is, where the goal is to get the best possible functionality given the available budget
In summary, thanks to the use of evidence-based methods, we will obtain higher quality software, which will also provide greater satisfaction to our clients.
Ariadna Aldeguer – Software Technician at Itequia