[plt-scheme] [maybe off-topic] The theory of testing

From: Grant Rettke (grettke at acm.org)
Date: Sat Aug 23 23:45:30 EDT 2008

Hi folks,

I recently had a good chat with my friend about unit testing. His
company is thinking of making unit testing part of the "standard
process". I gave him my take on unit testing, that:

1. Most developers don't know why they exist.
2. They are usually not maintained, or only maintained to gain code coverage.
3. Project failure then "proves" that unit tests are pointless
4. Unit tests go away

I suggested that this maybe combated with a "theory for development",
primarily that there is some contract that comes from requirements and
naturally translates into something that may be executed, namely a
unit tests. This seems to be the critical link that %80 of developers
haven't got, and that is why unit tests aren't written or maintained.
Is it a simple idea? It seems that idea. I just want developers to
have a reason for writing unit tests, a reason that they can
understand and argue for or against. Such an approach seems like it is
one of the seedlings for developing an overall theory for the
development process.

Is this what HTDP does, and leads to? I suspect it does. I will find out.

Best wishes,


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