Monday, 8 August 2011

An Introduction To Test Driven Development

Originally published in Overload 104

There are a lot of introductory articles for Test Driven Development (TDD). So why, might you ask, am I writing yet another? The simple answer is because I was asked to by Allan Kelly who wanted a piece for a small book he gives to his clients. I was happy to oblige, but writing about TDD is difficult. In fact if Allan hadn't wanted an original piece he could print as part of his book I would have suggested he just get a copy of Test Driven Development by Kent Beck. The main difficulty is coming up with a suitably concise, yet meaningful, example and Beck has already done this.

Allan was also quite keen for me to publish elsewhere, so I chatted the idea over with Steve Love, the editor of the ACCU's CVu magazine to see if he thought the readers would be interested in yet another TDD article. He said they probably would be as long as I thought carefully about how I wrote it. I thought this over for a long while. The majority of introductory TDD articles, at least the ones I have read, focus on unit testing. A recently completed ACCU Mentored Developers project read through Growing Object Orientated Software Guided by Tests by Freeman & Pryce. They focus on starting a simple application with acceptance tests and only writing unit and integration tests when the level of detail requires it or the acceptance tests become too cumbersome. However, it is a big book, so I decided to try and condense what I saw as the most important points into an introductory article and this is what you see before you. I hope you find it as useful and fun to read as I did to write.

Read more here.


  1. Looking forward to reading the PDF, the link is not working at the moment.

  2. Fixed now. Apache configuration problem.