re: The tragedy of 100% code coverage VIEW POST


The code is obvious. There are no conditionals, no loops, no transformations, nothing. The code is just a little bit of plain old glue code.

the problem with this is that it's subjective. as organization grows, as people of different levels and personal preferences come and go, subjectiveness in these best practices will inevitably lead to lower software quality.

The only reason not to test something is if it's hard or tooling is missing. Those cases require case-by-case analysis and thorough code review.


Hi Alexander,

Thanks a lot for the comment.

I am going to argue that “there are no conditionals, no loops, no transformation” is quite objective. This rule can be follow by any developer of any level. There is no room for interpretation.

On the other hand I find that “not to test something if it’s hard” is very subjective, as it will depend a lot on each developer’s experience what they find hard to do.

That said, I think you are right that a big chunk of what we do as developers is subject to a high degree of subjectiviness: good architecture and design, code quality, simple code, easy to understand, obvious code, engineering vs craftsmanship, dynamic vs static...

I think this is why a lot of people say that what we do is “art” and not engineering. What I think is a masterpiece, you can think is a big pile of crap, and neither of us can provide objective enough reasons to convince the other.

I think the only reason to not automate a test is if it brings no or negative value. The value of a test is he cost of writing and maintaining it vs its benefit: time saved by catching bugs. Unfortunately, as you point out, the value is very subjective.

I am curious about the “tooling is missing” statement. Do you mean UI tests?



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