Whitepaper: Get Unit Testing Done Right – Top Tips for Java Developers

Unit testing is necessary, but many organizations aren’t allocating the proper resources – or don’t do it at all. Conducting unit testing properly will make your system stronger and more reliable.

Learn why unit testing is absolutely essential, associated challenges, and best practices to overcome them.

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Download the whitepaper for a complete breakdown of costs and benefits of unit testing, how to conduct maintainable tests and save time in the process of evolving your unit test suite.

Key takeaways:
  • Why unit testing can’t be overlooked
  • Current practices vs. best practices
  • Why the benefits of unit testing outweigh the costs
  • How to make your unit testing practice sustainable
  • The practical solution for evolving your practice over time

We all know that software release cycles are becoming shorter and more frequent, which is why unit testing is a necessary practice. Yet, many organizations don’t allocate proper resources to conduct unit testing or overlook it entirely. Here’s how unit testing makes your system stronger and more reliable:

  • Testing validates your code and functionality, providing a solid foundation for future development and extending test scenarios.
  • Defects can be identified at early stages of the production process, which limits the costs of fixing them in later stages of the development cycle
  • Unit tested code is safer to refactor and more predictable.
  • Developers are forced to consider how well the production code is designed in order to make it suitable for unit testing.
  • Writing unit tests makes developers look at their code from a different perspective and helps them understand the production code better.
  • Unit tests are an additional medium for col­lecting feedback about the production code and how it should behave.
  • The “testing pyramid” is commonly used to describe the ideal distribution of testing resources, with automated unit tests comprising the bulk of your tests.
  • However, most development teams end up using an inverted pyramid, using manual testing as the primary testing practice before each release.
  • Manual tests cost considerable time and human resources, but unit testing is often viewed as a necessary evil, and it doesn’t happen as often as it should.

Creating unit tests takes up time and resources. Developers have to write more code that doesn’t deliver functionality. Plus, production code changes require existing unit test code changes and verification, which means overhead during development. Unit tests should be conducted and monitored ongoingly. Failures must be reviewed and fixed.

To improve efficiency and software quality for the long term, unit testing is worth it. It’s not easy, and it requires planning, enforcing policies and commitment—but consider the cost and risk of a security break or software failure. Suddenly, unit testing is a smart investment.

Lots of well-established unit testing frameworks can help you with unit testing, from basic JUnit libraries to mocking and stubbing frameworks like Mockito, JMockit and PowerMock. JUnitParams and Hamcrest are also available for parameterizing unit tests and creating assertions.

Keep in mind: toolkits are helpful, but they don’t drive success. Your priority should be setting up useful and maintainable tests by focusing on the following:

  • Creating focused, organized tests.
  • Keeping tests stable, maintainable and optimized.
  • Testing in isolation.
  • Developing experience in writing unit tests.

Unit testing is necessary and there are best practices that will improve sustainability and code quality. However, you’ll probably have to spend a lot of time evolving your unit test suite, especially if you’re new to unit testing.

The good news is that the Parasoft Unit Test Assistant reduces the time and effort required to create meaningful, sustainable unit tests. The Unit Test Assistant helps you create, assess and improve unit tests. Here are just a few things you can do with the Parasoft Unit Test Assistant:

  • Accelerate unit test adoption
  • Create functional templates of regular and parameterized test cases easily
  • Generate functional tests with preconfigured required dependencies
  • Review test execution flow and coverage for individual tests
  • …and much more.

Build your testing pyramid on a solid foundation of unit tests. It’s the only way to ensure stability, maintainability and prevent regression. At the same time, it comes with costs you need to plan for before implementing. Unit testing has the potential to dramatically improve code quality, but it must be taken seriously. Using these guidelines, your software team will be well equipped to maximize unit testing ROI.

 

About Parasoft

Parasoft’s software testing solutions support the entire software development process, from when the developer writes the first line of code all the way through unit and functional testing, to performance and security testing, leveraging simulated test environments along the way. Parasoft's unique analytics platform aggregates data from across all testing practices, providing insights up and down the testing pyramid to enable organizations to succeed in today's most strategic development initiatives, including Agile/DevOps, Continuous Testing, and the complexities of IoT. Parasoft’s automated software testing innovations fuel software development organizations, helping teams reduce the time, cost, and effort of delivering high-quality software to the market.