DEV Community


What are the Best Practices for Unit Testing in 2020?

woodjessica profile image Jessica Wood ・4 min read

Unit testing is the practice that is performed when there is a need for testing every function separately. This way of testing every function individually during the software development cycle helps the development teams to identify and resolve the bugs at the earliest. Also, adopting the best practices to perform the unit testing efficiently helps the teams to deliver a quality application at a shorter time and a lesser cost.

Do you know, what are the building blocks for software delivery and testing pipeline? Though unit tests seem to be the simplest ones, these are the major ones that validate the application against the needful requirements. Also, it helps to design robust software that helps to maintain the code by eliminating the bugs.

Unit testing helps to test every function separately, detects the issues, makes them fixed at the earliest and saves time and cost at the later stage of software development. There are many advantages and as well as limitations with unit testing. If these are not implemented wisely, then these may not help to maintain consistency throughout the development process. Therefore, find the below practices which are key to successful unit testing.

What is Unit Testing?

Unit testing is the practice where the smallest units of a testable code are tested to verify if they are meeting the requirements. It can be performed either manually or with test automation tools.

By opting for the best practices while performing unit tests, the developers can identify the defects at the early stage and this will ultimately help to save time and cost.

There are three different techniques within unit testing, they are:

White Box Testing: In this approach, the tester is aware of the code and tests the internal structure of the software against the requirements.
Grey Box Testing: In this approach, the testers are partially aware of the design, function, internal structure of the software, and the requirements as well.
Black Box Testing: In this approach, the tester is unaware of the internal structures and code of the software.

Benefits of Unit Testing

• Improves the quality of the code
• Restructuring and changes in the code are made easier by the developer and make the integration easier
• Bugs in the software are identified and resolved at the early stage in the software development life cycle
• As the bugs are identified and resolved at the earliest, time and costs are reduced, etc.

What are the best practices for Unit Testing?

Make Tests independent of each other: While performing unit testing, make sure to avoid a chain of test cases. When a chain of test cases are considered, then this may not be possible to identify the failure when debugging of code fails. Also, this may create dependency among the test cases. If any change is required, then this may be for all test cases. Hence, to avoid such scenarios, prefer different test cases.

Make a proper naming of Unit tests: Always make sure to name the test cases based on what they actually do. Naming the test cases with class names and the method names is though considerable, but this will be a never-ending task as every time a change is made to the method or class, it requires to be changed. Hence, prefer naming a test case based on its operation or the application logic, as it remains unchanged.

Plan to test one code at a time: This is one of the important requirements while performing unit testing. When planning to test a unit code with multiple use cases, make sure to test every use case separately. By doing this, testers will not find any bugs related to the code functionality, when changes are made to the code.

Make sure to run automated tests: It is essential for the testers to automate the test cases and validate whether they are functioning in the automated format or not. It is important that the test cases are either in an integration process or in a continuous delivery process.

Plan to run understandable test cases: It is important to run understandable test cases. By running understandable and reasonable test cases, it becomes easier for the developers to write the code and even simplifies the debugging process.


Unit testing is one of the important practices every developer prefers to validate the specific part of the program works well or not. By finding and resolving the defects at the earliest helps the teams and enterprises to save the development time and costs respectively. When there is a need for software testing every function separately, unit testing is the best practice. However, this method can even drawbacks if it isn’t practiced with the best methods. Leverage unit testing practices from next-gen software testing service providers will be an efficient way for enterprises.

Discussion (0)

Forem Open with the Forem app