Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Test Driven Development ROI

Ever think about the true benefits of tests and the value they provide you and your company? This article basically challenges developers to consider the ROI (Return On Investment) of every test. It has had a big impact on my software development habits by making me examine the benefits vs. the costs of writing tests.

Here is one of his most interesting comments: "... the developer is concentrating on testing before "coding" - the primary function is hence the development of tests, leading to a situation of "test-oriented development. This is where the production of tests becomes the overriding concern and output of a team, with the development of required functionality being secondary. When this occurs, the design, quality, and scope of the tests all become greater than that of the system actually being created". I am a firm believer in unit tests, but I hope I never fall into that category. We have a saying here at work, "I can get you about 90% confidence, but it's going to cost a lot to get that other 10%".

Oh yeah, its now Test First Development.

Also here is a follow up article to the original link above: When TDD Goes Bad #2. In it the author explains Mock oriented development and the lack of integration tests.