Introduction to Test Driven Development (TDD):
Test-driven development is a balanced approach for the programming perfectly blended with tightly interwoven three activities: coding, testing (writing unit tests) and designing (refactoring). The revolutionary new age approach emphasizes on test-first development with the primary goal of correcting specification rather than the validation first. In other words, TDD is a smart approach to understand and streamline the requirements prior to writing the functional code in the line of Agile principles.
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Two levels of TDD: TDD approach requires great discipline because the common tendency and traditional approaches inspire the programmers to “slip the test” and to write the functional code. To simplify the TDD implementation process, Agile TDD methodology can be categorized into two levels:
1.Acceptance TDD (ATDD): At this stage, you write the acceptance test specifying behavioral specifications, and then write the functionality/code. ATDD also termed as ‘Behavior Driven Development’ (BDD), neglecting the thin separating line over focus area, specifies the detailed and executable requirements for the acceptable solution on JIT- just in time basis.
2.Developer TDD: At this advanced level of TDD in Agile process, you write the developer test prior to writing the production code accordingly. The objective of TDD developer is to specify the detailed and practical design for the profitable solution on JIT basis.
6 Benefits of (TDD) Test Driven Development:
TDD has been the favorite approach of Agile organizations following the time-tested approaches to delivering the best quality product in a shorter period while securing the interests of all the stakeholders. It essentially bridges the gap between Development and Testing.
A survey conducted in 2010 confirmed that 53% Agile teams were following Developer TDD while 44% Agile teams were applying Acceptance TDD (ATDD) method. For the period of 7 years, Test Driven Development is getting massive popularity and the acceptance because of several behavioral and practical benefits; 6 key TDD benefits, driving the Agile teams to follow TDD methodology, are:
1. The Best Level Acceptance:
TDD implementation helps the developers to understand the requirements from the perspective experience of clients. The test cases are designed without the constraints of architecture design or traditional programming approaches. TDD maximizes the possibility of developing the best quality product fulfilling the communicated needs of all the stakeholders.
2. TDD - Customer-Centric Agile Process:
TDD process gets fit into the customer-centric agile methodology. The iteration for quality improvement is defined as the incorporation of new functionality against the model set of traditional practices or problem statements.
3. Prompt Feedback:
The streamlined TDD process helps the project development team members to improve their delivering capability because of providing the immediate feedback on the developed components. The shorter feedback sharing loop squeezes the turnaround period for the elimination of identified defects; and, the outcome is comparatively much better than it is in traditional waterfall methodology.
4. Extended Modulation for Small Units:
TDD helps to create better modularized, extensible and flexible code. Test Driven Development approach drives the Agile team to plan, develop and test the small units to be integrated at advanced stage. Under this approach, the concerned member delivers and performs better because of being more focused on smaller unit.
5. Easy Anticipation & Identification of Voids:
Test Driven Development process provides a comprehensive toolset to test every line of coding; the best part is that the entire thing is checked automatically within minutes. The comprehensive test suite alerts for timely changes to save the efforts, time and cost. Even in case, you inherit the coding of an absent team member or you outsource the coding, TDD allows you to test the practical suitability in the line of specified requirements; provided, you have author code. Fast testing at each step helps you to anticipate and identify the possible voids and to fill up those with modified practices.
6. Programmers Feel More Confident By Continuous Achievement:
Looking at big targets sometimes disheartens the programmers because of involved complications. With TDD approach, every test instills the confidence of moving in right direction. Every test, sub-test and successfully completed component marks the win giving you clear picture of ‘what has been completed and what is remaining to be done?”.
The scope of TDD benefits goes beyond the validation of correctness by step by step scaling. The organizations following TDD approach can easily make changes to current applications without disturbing the daily operations. The most organizations need to update the software to combat the challenges posed by continuous technology advancement and competitors; and, Agile TDD gives the businesses all the freedom to address new requirements or unforeseen variables.