Have you ever felt that good sensation when you fix duplicate code? I am sure you have felt that satisfaction when you know that you did the right thing and everybody is happy about it.
Have you ever felt the same satisfaction when you create a unit test?
The creation of a unit test may be more important than duplicate code elimination.
You may think this process is a waste of time and we shouldn’t bother to create unit tests for code that is already working.
But - is it really a waste of time?
Refactoring a piece of code is something we can feel proud about, something we can show off to our team, and something that makes us feel good.
Creating a unit test is not something you can feel proud about. It’s not something you can brag about to your teammates or something that makes your team leader proud of you.
Maybe this is because most of the time the execution of this unit test is hidden until you or some other developer breaks it.
The truth is that unit tests make refactoring much easier. There are more software bugs related to a missing unit test than bugs related to missing refactorings.
We need a well suite of unit tests before doing a bug-free refactor. Thus, unit tests are even more important that refactoring.
Unit tests and functional tests are the specifications and design of our system. We cannot develop a system without requirements.
Unit and functional tests are more important than the production code.
Writing the production code is a technical task. Designing a system is an engineering task.
Unit and functional tests represent the description of our system, they tell us what the system does, how we can use it and what the business rules and use cases are.
Why do we hate them so much and try to avoid them?
Software companies use tests as a quality control which has to be executed executed at the end of the SDLC.
Functional tests should be defined before starting the code development and they should be executed every time the system is compiled.
Let’s give unit tests the place they deserve in our code, which is the base for the requirements and the description of our system.