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Jignesh Solanki
Jignesh Solanki

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5 Reasons Why Unit Testing Shouldn’t be Overlooked

The primary purpose of adopting an effective testing strategy for a software development project is to ensure that the end product is delivered error-free and provides a consistent user experience at all times.

Unit testing plays an important role in this area as it thoroughly tests software programs to make functionality as per customer expectations.

What is unit testing?

As a software testing method, unit testing divides the source code into smaller and individual units. The code is then tested to determine if it is fit for use. In case there are defects detected by the unit tests, they can be quickly located and repaired.

Unit tests repair bugs since the early stages of development and avoid any unwarranted delays in product delivery. These tests are either manual or automated. In the manual approach to unit testing, developers follow a step-by-step instructional process to perform efficient testing. On the other hand, automated unit testing requires the developers to first write a section of the code to enable testing a specific function. A report published by Globe Newswire in 2021 states that expansion in the market for electric vehicles has also increased demand for unit testing methods.

Here are 5 reasons to prove why unit testing must be an essential part of any software development process-

1. Increases agility and teamwork

As new features get added to any software, developers make frequent changes to the original code and design. When these changes are made in the previously tested code, it can be risky to push them directly into production. However, with unit testing, as every batch gets tested individually, code refactoring is entirely safe and effective and makes the entire coding process more agile.
Furthermore, as all the team members can easily view each other's code and logic, there is more cohesiveness and understanding among developers working on the same projects. The documentation provided by unit tests also helps onboard new developers in a team.

2. Improves code quality and debugging

According to a NIST report, the cost of bug detection at the production stage is 30x more compared to 5x at the coding stage. In addition, unit tests help developers find every defect in the code before it is sent for integration testing. Thus, it significantly improves code readability and testability. Unit testing best practices encourage developers to run unit tests parallely with the development process to ensure code maintainability throughout the development process.

Unit testing proves to be a significant advantage to simplifying the debugging process. In case a test fails, debugging the recent changes helps maintain clean code. In addition, it saves developers' time, and efforts spent dealing with unexpected bugs discovered at the production stage.

3. Enables easy documentation

Unit tests help developers understand the functionality of a specific unit's interface (API) and the intent behind the code. As a result, developers can fix the issues with software behavior and compare it with the original design even without proper documentation.

4. Reduces costs and resources

When the code undergoes frequent changes, it can lead to the discovery of bugs at later stages of the development stages. However, organizations can save resources and manual hours spent on bug fixes by integrating unit tests since the early stages.

5. Facilitates code reusability

Unit testing environments isolate individual modules of software with independent concerns. Every such module gets tested in a contained environment. As a result, the code is clean, maintainable, and accurate, thereby increasing the code's reliability and reusability.

Unit testing naturally has its significance, and avoiding it can lead to an overall impact on software performance and create a negative impression on the potential customers. Therefore, to ensure optimum performance of your software product, implementing a robust testing strategy with unit testing at its center is a need of the hour!

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