Possibility and Probability

A Python programmer with a personality thinking about space exploration

25 September 2005

Unit testing

by Nick

By way of the Redshed I saw this article about Unit Testing by Wil Shipley: Unit testing is teh suck, Urr. Aside from his constant use of the word “teh”, Wil makes some interesting points. I don’t agree with him, but if it works for him and his company then more power to him. But I think his level of experience is what lets him do this. If I were to follow his guidelines and do my part to test a program manually and then release it to a “beta test” I think I would wind up not selling anything. Beta tests can go both ways, if you don’t have a good customer base, then they are going to see your beta for what it is, an attempt to get them to do your job (finding the bugs). On the other hand if you have a great customer base (like Google) you can get away with calling everything a beta. (Although I should note that pretty much everything beta that Google has rolled out has been pretty polished.) For me, I think I’m going to try and stick to using unit tests as a tool to help me create better software. I think as long as you don’t go overboard in your implementation of Units Test (XP, I’m looking at you) they can bring you a lot of benefits and confidence in your product. For a great reply to Wil’s blog, check out Michael Tsai’s blog, I think he has perfectly captured the reasons why you should not turn away from unit testing.