[TIP] A quick guide to testing (for the khmer project)

C. Titus Brown ctb at msu.edu
Sat Jul 26 04:48:31 PDT 2014

On Jul 24, 2014, at 4:20 PM, Laura Creighton <lac at openend.se> wrote:

> In a message of Thu, 24 Jul 2014 04:04:06 -0700, "C. Titus Brown" writes:
>> Hey Terry,
>> thanks for the comment -- rather than lay down further rules (it's hard
>> enough for people to sort through our documentation!) I'd like to link to
>> discussions.  Do you have suggestions for a good, concise discussion of
>> the difference between unit tests and functional tests?
>> thanks,
>> --titus
> Here is one.
> http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/j-test/index.html#h4
> Something you didn't mention is 'When can I delete a test?  How do I
> tell when it is no longer needed?'  The reason that this is important
> to mention is that if your students are anything like mine, they will
> start with the idea that 'now that I have everything working properly,
> I can go about deleting these tests and tidy things up a bit'.  (Of
> course, we are doing TDD.)  There _is_ a certain amount of cleanup you
> can do, but my students tend to do way, way, way more than this unless
> they are explicitly told to stop deleting tests so that the next poor
> soul to come along can read them and find out what the code is up to.
> Mostly it takes _becoming_ the next poor soul to modify somebody else's
> code to teach them that one 'for good'.  Even if you are not doing TDD
> (which I think is a shame) I think you should be teaching your students
> how to take a set of requirements and turn them into a set of tests.
> Otherwise, if the student has to leave with his or her project half-done,
> you may have to toss all their work and start all over again with a new
> student.  I find it easier to get a new student to complete existing work 
> if it already comes with a set of tests it should pass when it is 
> complete.  (And sometimes the reason that it wasn't competed is that
> the code is garbage, and should be thrown away, but that's a different
> problem. :) )

thanks, Laura!


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