Test-Driven Development (TDD): why every programmer should learn it

Test-Driven Development (TDD): why every programmer should learn it

When it comes to programming, testing your code is just as important to a developer as the actual code itself. Some may argue that it’s even more important.

When it comes to programming, testing your code is just as important to a developer as the actual code itself. Some may argue that it’s even more important. Why is that, you ask? Writing your own test before you code forces you to think about how it should work. This can help you cut down on time during development, isolate specific problems or bugs, and can even avoid regressions whenever new features are added. This blog will define what TDD is and introduce the “Red, Green, Refactor” principle.

What is TDD?

TDD, or Test-Driven Development, is a coding pattern that helps programmers structure their code in an incremental approach. It is writing the test code, also known as a test-suite _before _you start writing code. The goal here is to force you to think about how something should work so you can build the code piece by piece.

Below is an example of a test block written in RSpec, the behavior-driven development, or BDD, language for Ruby. _(Note TDD and BDD have slight differences but the over-arching concept is the same — using the test suite to drive development). _We’ll use this example because the syntax is very readable and can help you grasp the idea quickly, in my opinion.

Test Block, written in Ruby’s RSpec

I won’t go into detail about the syntax of the language, but this example tests for a Card class to have a type called “Ace of Spades” when a new instance is created. To make this test pass, we can approach it incrementally and:

  1. Create a Card class
  2. Initialize it with an instance variable called ‘type’
  3. Add a getter method to get the value

test-driven-development developer coding programming software-development visual studio code

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