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Aravind B N
Aravind B N

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Unit Testing: A Very Important Scheme of Software Development

Hello‎‎ Readers,
My‎‎ name‎‎ is‎‎ Aravind‎‎ B‎‎ N,‎‎ and‎‎ I‎‎ work‎‎ at‎‎ "Luxoft‎‎ India"‎‎ as‎‎ a‎‎ Junior‎‎ Software‎‎ Developer.‎‎ Luxoft has provided me with chances to engage in projects sparking my interest in exploring the essential aspects of Unit Testing development and learning.


As a software developer it's essential that the code is dependable, effective and easy to manage. One tool that cannot be missed in this fight is unit testing. Unit testing as the process of evaluating individual units or components of a software independently to check if each works as expected. This article will discuss why unit tests are important, types of automated tests, basics of unit testing and an example application overview with test scenarios. It will also talk about dealing with bugs result and feedbacks in test running with advanced topics touch on before ending up with modern significance of unit testing.

Importance of Unit Testing

In the cycle of software development, this is where unit tests play a vital role for many reasons. First off, it makes sure that every piece of code functions correctly on its own such that issues can be detected and fixed early during development process. By identifying problems at the level where they occur rather than allowing them to spread through various parts of the system, developers can reduce chances for more complex and costly bugs later on.

Moreover, it is also a kind of documentation to let the team know what should be done as they test their code. Each component’s task can be understood in terms of what it does and how to do that by using the references made when testing this piece of software for future developers who may come on board. In addition, unit tests allow for easier refactoring as a result of having safety nets; thus making alterations with confidence knowing that the full coverage by testing is well catered.

In addition, unit testing builds quality and responsibility among the development teams. Writing tests leads to modularization, reusability and loose coupling which has an impact on maintainability and scalability of software systems.

Types of Automated Tests

Automated testing is necessary to make sure that everything goes smoothly during testing and good results are attained (Knight et al., 2007). Various types of automated tests exist in order to serve specific purposes in software testing:

  1. Unit Tests: As mentioned before, individual units such as functions or methods are tested independently with unit tests.

  2. Integration Tests: Integration test make sure that different parts or components work together exactly as they were meant to do in a given application.

  3. End-To-End Tests: These end-to-end tests, also called functional tests, confirm that the whole workflow of an application is operating from beginning to end with user activities and system integrations.

  4. Rechecking Functionality; Regression tests are created to double check functionality that has already been implemented making sure that any new code modifications do not negatively impact it.

  5. Checking Performance; Performance testing is carried out to pinpoint areas where performance may be limited by testing how well an application responds, scales and remains stable under workloads.

  6. Initial Validation Tests; Smoke tests are used to assess if an application is stable enough, for testing quickly validating its key functions.

Each kind of automated test has a different role in guaranteeing overall quality and reliability of software applications.

Principles of Unit Testing

Several important principles guide effective unit testing:

  1. Isolation: Unit tests should prevent the code being tested from relying on external resources like databases or network calls through mocking or stubbing techniques.

  2. Independence: Each unit test must be independent from others so that their consequences would not influence each other’s results.

  3. Readability: Test names must be descriptive and assertions be clear so that unit tests can be understood easily and maintained.

  4. Speed: To this end, the speed at which they execute should allow programmers to obtain immediate feedback as they move through iterations during development.

  5. Completeness: Unit tests need to cover different edge cases and scenarios in order to ensure robustness of the code base.

They help keep unit tests effective and reliable all through the life cycle of software development.
Example Application Overview
A simple example application for managing cars, including functionalities for creating, updating, and deleting car records will be considered. The focus will be on testing the car creation service specifically on make and model properties of car objects.
Testing the Car Creation Service
Let us start by writing unit tests for the car creation service:
1. Testing the make Property:

def test_car_make():

    car = Car(make="Toyota", model="Camry")

    assert car.make == "Toyota"

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This test ensures that the make property of the car object is set correctly.

2. Testing the model Property:

def test_car_model():

    car = Car(make="Toyota", model="Camry")

    assert car.model == "Camry"

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With this tester also, the model attribute of the car object is correctly assigned.

Handling Test Failures and Feedback

For sure, there could be some tests that fail due to bugs or changes in the code. Whenever a test fails, it becomes very important to investigate why it failed and fix the problem without delay. Developers should maintain a feedback loop where any failing tests are handled immediately so as to maintain validity of the test suite.

Advanced Topics and Conclusion

Test-driven development (TDD) is an advanced area of unit testing where tests are written before coding while property-based testing is another in which they are generated from properties that the code must satisfy.

It can therefore be concluded that unit testing is an essential element in modern software development. It helps to ensure reliability, functionality and maintainability of codes while fostering quality culture and responsible development teams. The principles behind unit testing along with automated testing procedures ensure developers deliver high-quality software with confidence on customer expectations.

This practice not only enhances code quality but also promotes productivity amongst developers as well as collaboration hence better outcomes for dev and end-users alike.

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