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Pragmatic Unit Testing in Java with JUnit 1st Edition

16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0974514017
ISBN-10: 0974514012
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Andy Hunt is a programmer turned consultant, author and publisher. He co-authored the best-selling book “The Pragmatic Programmer”, was one of the 17 founders of the Agile Alliance, and co-founded the Pragmatic Bookshelf, publishing award-winning and critically acclaimed books for software developers.

Dave Thomas, as one of the authors of the Agile Manifesto, understands agility. As the author of "Programming Ruby," he understands Ruby. And, as an active Rails developer, he knows Rails.


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Product Details

  • Series: Pragmatic Programmers
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: The Pragmatic Programmers; 1 edition (September 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974514012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974514017
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,075,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Levin on October 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
When I decided to learn about JUnit I picked up two books: this one and "JUnit Recipes" by Rainsberger. The differences were immediately obvious. "Pragmatic Unit Testing" is a reasonable choice if your goal is to simply learn something about JUnit (e.g., you are a high school or college student taking a couple of programming courses). On the other hand, if your goal is to actually make use of JUnit to help you produce code that actually does something, you will quickly drop this book and turn to some other source of information.

A quick look at the index or table of contents highlights the problem with this book. Think about some of the constructs in your code: interfaces, SQL databases, XML, J2EE apps, web servers, etc. None of these topics are listed because this book doesnt give you any input on how to construct JUnit tests for any of these situations. For example, what's the best way to test when multiple classes implement the same interface? No help here.

The books is best used as a quick intro to testing for novice Java programmers. For anyone doing serious programming I suggest the Rainsberger book. Thats the one I keep on my desk close at hand. "Pragmatic Unit Testing" now resides in a box down in my basement.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mr. V. J. O'Sullivan on August 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
Pragmatic Unit Testing is another outing for the "Pragmatic" brand. This time the authors apply their characteristic humour and collection of acronyms to unit testing, specifically as it applies to Java and using the JUnit software package.

The book gives a general introduction to the whys and wherefores of unit testing and then uses a good example to introduce JUnit as a mechanism for carrying out these tests. This is followed by various chapters that look into what you should test and when and where, etc. In this respect it covers much of the ground on unit testing and does it well but the truth is that there isn't all that much to cover; to the extent that the authors can even provide a one page at-a-glance summary of all their main points at the back of the book. This is fine and as an introductory text I would recommend the book.

On the other hand, there are a number of areas in unit testing that always present problems for developers. For instance:

How should private methods be tested? This is mentioned in passing but not really addressed.

Where should tests be stored? Some options are presented but their advantages and disadvantages barely mentioned.

How can systems such as databases or networks be simulated for test purposes? There is a short chapter on simple Mock Objects but after presenting a small example they conclude "and that's all there is to mock objects" and the rest of the chapter barely covers anything more.

In summary, the book is a good (if verbose) introduction for beginners but is of limited value for those who are already familiar with JUnit and are looking for a book that tackles the more difficult areas.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jason on July 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
Refusing to rest on their laurels from their 1999 success The Pragmatic Programmer, Andrew Hunt and David Thomas are back with a vengeance. They've taken a step back from their previous title to write The Pragmatic Starter Kit, billed as a prequel to The Pragmatic Programmer. The Pragmatic Starter Kit, meant to lay the foundation for a pragmatic programmer, consists of three titles: Pragmatic Version Control, Pragmatic Unit Testing, and Pragmatic Automation. Together, these titles show how to set up a sound development infrastructure, and educate as to fundamental practices, tools, and philosophies which may be used to enhance productivity within this infrastructure.

Pragmatic Unit Testing, the second volume of The Pragmatic Starter Kit, teaches the developer to code smartly by practicing a regime of disciplined unit testing. Hunt and Thomas begin by convincing the reader just why it is we must write unit tests, and then quickly debunk the most common excuses developers use for not testing. Now that we are suitably convinced, the authors go on to explain how to plan and write unit tests, how to work with the JUnit framework, and how to use mock objects.

Most books on this subject don't really go too far beyond how to write unit tests. Where this book stands head and shoulders above the rest though, is the great depth the book goes into showing us exactly what tests need to be written. Through a series of helpful mnemonics, the reader is taught exactly what to test, how to correctly test boundary conditions, and what the properties of good tests are. We are also given general testing principles to keep in mind, as well as questions to ask ourselves about our code while testing.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By akempo on March 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
Pragmatic Unit Testing is one of those books that you only find once in a great while: concise, readable, practical, and applicable to everyday work tasks. There are a number of test frameworks for Java, a number of them based on JUnit. This is both good and bad: good, because JUnit is an effective, easy to use framework, and bad, because the documentation that comes with JUnit is horrible. This book is the documentation that JUnit SHOULD come with. Although quite simple in nature, this book provides guidelines not only for using JUnit, but concepts for planning effective Unit tests as well. I particularly like the examples and exercises the authors included with the book, as I learn better by doing them and seeing the results myself.

If you're not familiar with Unit testing or skeptical of the results, read this book and give it a fair try. You'll never program the same way again.
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