Thunder Data Systems

Testing, shmesting, who needs it?

Testing, shmesting, who needs it?

Now that I’ve been here for a couple months, I guess it is time to post a blog, but about what? Since, in large part, testing is new to me, (and an important part of developing Thundertix) I thought I’d start there. So read on if you want to hear about my experience. It’s been a wild ride.

Auto testing your code is a sexy idea to any programmer who has asked themself – ‘does my code work?’ Most importantly, ‘will it work when I move it to production’. Most of the time, the answer is “I think so, let’s see”. So testing, in theory, should allow you to forgo that nerve racking question altogether.

But testing, in my experience, is hard. More difficult than writing the code to begin with. By a long way. Not only because you are learning new constructs to exercise, poke and prod your app but also because you have to think differently about how your code is structured. Is the code in the right place – is it simple enough? Should I be moving my code out of the controller and into the model, as many of the best Rails programmers suggest? (When you start testing complex controllers, I can tell you, the answer is YES!)

So far, testing for me is like taking vitamins – it’s good for you – but may not taste good. So I tell myself, “every test makes your code stronger”. It’s a bit like exercising. The more tests you have the stronger your code will be. And you will know it – especially when you have to make sweeping changes.

I’ve got a long ways to go before I can say for sure that my code will work but, as I learn and get better, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

But, at the end of the day, if I never have to ask “Will my code work when I move it to production?”, it’ll all be worth it.

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