Skip to main content

Treating Test Code as Production Code

It's important when writing automated tests to remember that the code you write should be up to production standards, meaning any conventions that you have in place should be adhered to and that it should follow good design patterns.

Too many people often say why does it have to be as good as production code, it's "Only" a test, so long as it passes then that's fine...

To answer this we need to look at why we want our tests to be written in such a structured and efficient manner:

- Maintainability - by making the test code structured and efficient, it becomes far easier to maintain and in doing so changes in the future can happen quickly as the test isn't linked to anything that it shouldn't be and it's easy to understand for a new set of eyes.
- Durability- Again by making the tests structured they should be resistant to changes, if you change a variable name for instance then it shouldn't effect the unit test unless it absolutely has to.
- Flaky - We've all been there, had tests flaky and failing when they really shouldn't be failing, you run it again and hey presto! it works!

And finally, and perhaps the most important:

- Defects - The main reason in writing automated tests is to identify defects earlier and often and quickly. If we ignore the above, then we'll end up ignoring tests or in some cases removing tests that are flaky, and if we're removing tests then the defects that the tests were put into find, could quite easily work their way into production which is not what we want.

I know maintaining tests is time consuming and people struggle to comprehend the value in keeping tests maintained and up to date, until of course bugs are found in production, then if only we had a time machine to go back and run the tests that were removed or commented out!

So this is why I believe that test code is just as important (and you could easily argue that it is more important) than the actual code that it tests.

Anyone agree/disagree????


  1. At this link you can find even more great writing tips and tutorials for bloggers.

  2. Thanks for sharing helpful information, I really like your all post. I will bookmark your blog for future updates. Send Gift To pakistan

  3. Your blog is very nice thank you for this wonderful information I like very much for this article. Send Gift To pakistan


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

What is a PBI?

After my last post, I had the question of what is a PBI... so I thought i'd write a short blog post about what they are and why they are used.

A PBI is an acronym for Product Backlog Item. It is a description of a piece of work that your SCRUM team will develop and deliver. When you have a list of Product Backlog Items, you then refer to that collective list as a Product Backlog.

The product backlog is often prioritised and yourteam will work through each PBI, and release on a regular schedule... I am however going deep into the world of Agile development, which isn't entirely what this post is about, so I will stop myself now.

A Product Backlog Item is made up of the following:

Title - This is often a one liner that gives the team an idea of what the PBI is about, although it can just be an ID for the item and the team work off of that.

Description - Breaks down the PBI in a bit more detail, and can be written in any style, however I prefer it to be written as follows: 

By writin…

Dealing with Selenium WebDriver Driver.Quit crashes (Where chromedriver.exe is left open)

We recently came across a problem with Selenium not quitting the webdriver and this would then lock a file that was needed on the build server to run the builds.

We were using Driver.Quit() but this sometimes failed and would leave chromedriver.exe running. I looked around and found this was a common issue that many people were having. We (I say we, as we came to the solution through paired programming), came up with the following, that would encapsulate the driver.quit inside a task and if this task takes longer than 10 seconds, then it will clean up any processes started by the current process, in the case of the issue on the build server, it would kill any process started by Nunit.

        public static void AfterTestRun()
            var nativeDriverQuit = Task.Factory.StartNew(() => Driver.Quit());
            if (!nativeDriverQuit.Wait(TimeSpan.FromSeconds(10)))

        private s…

Famous Movie Quotes applied to Software Engineering - Jaws

You're gonna need a bigger boat? How can that relate to Engineering?

Firstly, let me ashamedly admit, that I've never seen the whole of Jaws all the way through. It's on my list of films to watch, but whether I get round to it, is another matter!

Anyway, to apply this to engineering, it's almost like "you're gonna need more testers/developers"...

We hear this all too often when trying to push releases out the door, let's throw men at it... However, as we all know, a bigger boat/more men... isn't always the answer, it's not a guarantee of quality, or even a guarantee of getting things done quicker.

If you have a task that will take 2 hours, simply having 2 people work on it doesn't mean that it is halved, in fact often, the time taken to do the task remains at 2 hours, but the maintainability and the knowledge around that area is increased, so it's a price, in my opinion that is often worth paying.