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Discussion on: How I learned to love unit testing

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Janne "Lietu" Enberg

Sadly common story. I tried for several years to unsuccessfully convince the leadership at a consulting agency that they didn't need to sell unit tests separately, but they were a core feature of the development itself and that we should always write it them for all our code.

But no, to this day (10+ years after I started, 5 years after I left) that company still considers unit tests to be an extra, something people do at other places.

Gladly at the next place there were some unit tests, but still at a poor level. People didn't think of them at all, most of them were actually not unit tests but massively slow monsters. They pretended their SOLID principles were all that were needed to make code easily testable, and .. it wasn't. More like the opposite in many cases.

Nowadays there's little I do without unit tests, and require them in all projects I'm working with. I consider it more like you don't really know your stuff works before you can prove it with unit tests. You don't always need a lot of them, but you still need to have them.

The recent trends in unit testing tools and methods getting better are just amazing, with Python the mock library is simply incredible and most dbs and such come with mocking libraries too, and things like snapshot testing are making so many things easier to test.

Unfortunately still there are still several common areas that are annoyingly difficult to test, you'd think that by now websites were super easy to test but often this is not the case. Also in the gamedev world you will find automated tests to be almost non-existent, but the gamedev world tends to move quite slowly overall so it's not that surprising.