ILoggable

A place to keep my thoughts on programming

October 2, 2008 .net, geek , , , ,

A case for TDD

I know, it’s been rather quiet here lately. I’ve just been slammed with coding, so writing things up is falling behind. In addition, my blogging time’s going to be split between techblog.notify.me and www.mindtouch.com/blog. And I’m behind on both of those as well. I should have some fun Dream and DekiScript stuff for the mindtouch blog and some asynchronous programming for the notify.me blog soon. As soon as i can get myself to stop coding again.

So what makes me stop coding for a minute to babble on? It’s just a quick case studio of why TDD is important.

I’ve been an Inversion of Control/Dependency Injection for about a year and a half, and while I’ve eased my way into it, I’m pretty much at the “an interface for every class” stage of having everything abstracted so i can easily mock things. But here and there, I take in third party assemblies for my projects. And most of the time, they are not well interfaced. And generally I try to create a facade that is interfaced, so i can test my interaction in isolation. But depending on how many secondary classes their code uses, sometimes my facade gets lazy leaving places i can’t mock.

Now, i’m pretty religious about test coverage, but i do have holes where my facade leaves untestable bits. And this is where TDD shows it’s worth. Because when a feature is added or a refactor happens, almost with 100% certainty, the bugs that manage to get into production are in the code that doesn’t have test coverage.

The lesson here is that the time saved in not building a properly mockable facade, thereby torpedoing my testability, is repaid manyfold in debugging later as bugs make it into production. meh.

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