• Category Archives: testing

Working Effectively with Unit Tests Official Launch

Today marks the official release release of Working Effectively with Unit Tests. The book is available in various formats:

I’m very happy with the final version. Michael Feathers wrote a great foreword. I incorporated feedback from dozens of people – some that have been friends for years, and some that I’d never previously met. I can’t say enough great things about http://leanpub.comand I highly recommend it for getting an idea out there and making it easy to get fast feedback. 

As far as the softcover edition, I had offers from a few major publishers, but in the end none of them would allow me to continue to sell on leanpub at the same time. I strongly considered caving to the demands of the major publishers, but ultimately the ability to create a high quality softcover and make it available on Amazon was too tempting to pass up.

The feedback has been almost universally positive – the reviews are quite solid on goodreads (http://review.wewut.com). I believe the book provides specific, concise direction for effective Unit Testing, and I hope it helps increase the quality of the unit tests found in the wild.

If you’d like to try before you buy, there’s a sample available in pdf format or on the web.


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Testing Sinatra application methods in isolation with RSpec

Sometimes you may want to test some Sinatra app methods in isolation (outside of a standard request flow). You probably even tried to do something like this: Unfortunately you will end up with error like this: This will occur, because Sinatra’s App new method creates a Sinatra::Wrapper, not an App instance. Of course everything will […]

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Ruby programmers/project managers/CEOs Y U NO enforce code quality?

Introduction This post is a result of recent events with one of the companies that I work with. Sometimes, I help people because I want, sometimes because they pay me, mostly both ;). This time I’ve been helping one company decide on how to outsource their software development. They have many applications, some of them […]

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Working Effectively with Unit Tests

Unit Testing has moved from fringe to mainstream, which is a great thing. Unfortunately, as a side effect developers are creating mountains of unmaintainable tests. I’ve been fighting the maintenance battle pretty aggressively for years, and I’ve decided to write a book that captures what I believe is the most effective way to test.

From the Preface

Over a dozen years ago I read Refactoring for the first time; it immediately became my bible. While Refactoring isn’t about testing, it explicitly states: If you want to refactor, the essential precondition is having solid tests. At that time, if Refactoring deemed it necessary, I unquestionably complied. That was the beginning of my quest to create productive unit tests.

Throughout the 12+ years that followed reading Refactoring I made many mistakes, learned countless lessons, and developed a set of guidelines that I believe make unit testing a productive use of programmer time. This book provides a single place to examine those mistakes, pass on the lessons learned, and provide direction for those that want to test in a way that I’ve found to be the most productive.

The book does touch on some theory and definition, but the main purpose is to show you how to take tests that are causing you pain and turn them into tests that you’re happy to work with.

For example, the book demonstrates how to go from…

looping test with many (built elsewhere) collaborators
.. to individual tests that expect literals, limit scope, explicitly define collaborators, and focus on readability
.. to fine-grained tests that focus on testing a single responsibility, are resistant to cascading failures, and provide no friction for those practicing ruthless Refactoring.

As of right now, you can read the first 2 chapters for free at https://leanpub.com/wewut/read

I’m currently ~25% done with the book, and it’s available now for $14.99. My plan is to raise the price to $19.99 when I’m 50% done, and $24.99 when I’m 75% done. Leanpub offers my book with 100% Happiness Guarantee: Within 45 days of purchase you can get a 100% refund on any Leanpub purchase, in two clicks. Therefore, if you find the above or the free sample interesting, you might want to buy it now and save a few bucks.

Buy Now here: https://leanpub.com/wewut

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20 articles on Cucumber and a free beverage recipe!

Cucumber has been getting quite a bit of attention in the community and with the new RSpec Book on nearing publication, I predict that by this time next year, it’ll become a household word like boanthropy.

What is Cucumber?

The Cucumber project describes itself as a suite that, “lets software development teams describe how software should behave in plain text. The text is written in a business-readable domain-specific language and serves as documentation, automated tests and development-aid – all rolled into one format.

One of the great things about Cucumber is that it can be used to test applications in any language. I haven’t been able to track down a lot of articles of how people are using it with other languages, so please comment if you’re aware of some.

In any event, I’ve been collecting and reading resources from a variety of Cucumber aficionados and thought I’d share some links with you. To round it out, I asked on twitter for some others so that I could hit twenty. :-)

  1. What’s in a Story?, Dan North
  2. Telling a good story – Rspec stories from the trenches, Joseph Wilk
  3. Beginning with Cucumber, Ryan Bates (Railscasts)
  4. Using RSpec, Cucumber and User stories to build our internal systems, Rahoul Baruah
  5. Cucumber: The Latest in Ruby Testing, Ruby Inside
  6. Using Cucumber for Acceptance Testing, Noel Rappin
  7. Behavior Driven Development with Cucumber, Brandon Keepers (presentation/slides)
  8. Testing capistrano recipes with cucumber, Jeff Dean
  9. Using Cucumber to Integrate Distributed Systems and Test Messaging, Ben Mabey
  10. Tutorial: How to install/setup Cucumber, Alan Mitchell
  11. Testing outbound emails with Cucumber, Dr. Nic Willians
  12. Proper Cucumber Sintatra Driving, Chris Strom
  13. On getting started using Cucumber for .NET
  14. DRY up your Cucumber Steps, Matt Wynne
  15. Cucumber, Celerity, & FireWatir, Aidy Lewis (presentation/video)
  16. Cucumber step definition tip: Stubbing time, Bryan Helmkamp
  17. Story Driven Development Recipes with Cucumber, Sebastien Auvray
  18. Testing Facebook with Cucumber, Brandon Keepers
  19. Testing with the help of machinist, forgery, cucumber, webrat and rspec, Etienne van Tonder
  20. Integration testing SSL with Cucumber
  21. Continuous Integration Blueprints: How to Build an Army of Killer Robots With Hudson and Cucumber

So.. there you have it. Please post comments with links to any useful articles not mentioned and I’ll try to keep the list updated.

Also, be sure to check out the list of tutorials and related blog posts on the cucumber wiki (github).

FREE RECIPE: Cucumber Water


And now…for the reason you are all here! If you like cucumbers (eating them)… I would highly recommend heading to your local farmers market and purchasing some cucumbers. Aside from being healthy to eat… they can help make a tasty beverage.

Then do the following…

  • Chop several slices of a cucumber
  • Fill a pitcher with cold water and ice
  • Toss in slices of cucumber
  • Stir and leave in fridge for a while
  • Take out of fridge, pour into cup…
  • Drink… hack… and enjoy

Be sure to check out, How to Make Cucumber Water on wikihow for details.

Happy Hacking!

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