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Test-Driven Development: A Practical Guide: A Practical Guide 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0131016491
ISBN-10: 0131016490
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Test-Driven Development: A Practical Guide

David R. Astels

Foreword by Ron Jeffries

  • The relentlessly practical TDD guide: real problems, real solutions, real code
  • Includes a start-to-finish project written in Java and using JUnit
  • Introduces TDD frameworks for C++, C#/.NET, Python, VB6, and more
  • For every developer and project manager interested test-driven development

Make Test-Driven Development work for you!

Test-Driven Development: A Practical Guide enables developers to write software that's simpler, leaner, more reliable... just plain better.

Now, there's a TDD guide focused on real projects, real developers, real implementation challenges, and real code.

Renowned agile development expert Dave Astels shows TDD at work in a start-to-finish project written in Java and using the JUnit testing framework. You'll learn how "test first" works, why it works, what obstacles you'll encounter, and how to transform TDD's promise into reality.

  • o Relentlessly practical! Full of downloadable code examples, hands-on exercises, and a fully hyperlinked version of the "resources" appendix
  • o Introduces powerful TDD tools and techniques--including key JUnit extensions, presented by their creators (Scott Ambler, Tim Bacon, Mike Bowler, Mike Clark, Bryan Dollery, James Newkirk, Bob Payne, Kay Pentacost, and Jens Uwe Pipka)
  • o Covers refactoring, "programming by intention," mock objects, and much more
  • o Discusses TDD frameworks for C++, C#/.NET, Python, VB6, Ruby, and Smalltalk
  • o Introduces previously unpublished test-first techniques for GUI software
  • o Contains appendices introducing eXtreme Programming and Agile Modeling
  • o For all programmers and project managers

Read this book if you're ready to write code that's clearer, more robust, and easier to extend & maintain--in short, if you're ready to write better code!

About the Author

Dave Astels has close to twenty years' experience as a software developer in areas ranging from embedded environment control to intellectual property protection systems to electrical energy trading systems. For more than a decade, he has been working exclusively with object technology. He runs his own consulting company specializing in Extreme Programming and pervasive Java solutions. He is the co-author of A Practical Guide to extreme Programming (ISBN 0130674826).


Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (July 12, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131016490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131016491
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #752,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is about Test-Driven Development (TDD). Its purpose is to help you write better code (by having more tests) and give you a head start with existing tools to achieve this.
The book falls short of these goals: The explanations about writing tests are short on advice and are sometimes misleading. The presentation of the tools is long, with little useful facts.
The book is organized into four parts: Background on TDD, refactoring and programming by intention; A look at JUnit and related tools used to write and run tests; A lengthy example of TDD; An overview of other tools in the xUnit family. The book is targeted at a Java audience but programmers using other languages should have little difficulties understanding the code.
I have a major problem with the background section. The author repeatedly claims that TDD provides exhaustive test coverage and ensures that you can refactor your code with confidence. Any error will be caught by the tests. This is foolish. First, tests rarely reach 100% code coverage. Even the sample that the author provides in the book ends up with less than 90% coverage. This leaves many gaps where tests will fail to detect errors. Even if tests cover 100% branches in the code tests are not exhaustive. Depending on the data used, the same branch may exhibit different behavior. (Not to speak about race conditions and other sources of hard to find bugs.) I fully agree with the author that writing unit tests will improve the quality of the code and help find bugs. But claiming that this is a silver bullet is not wise. I would recommend reading books about tests (e.g., Myers' The Art of Software Testing and McConnell's Code Complete chapter on unit testing) in addition to this book.
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Format: Paperback
(Disclaimer: I worked with the author on one large project).
Dave Astels' book is a comprehensive work covering TDD from the ground up to advanced topics. While most of the book examples use Java and JUnit, it does cover unit testing frameworks in several other languages as well. I've read two books on the topic (the other one is Kent Beck's "TDD By Example") and I liked Dave's book better. The basics of TDD can be explained in 10 minutes however when it is applied on practice it gets complicated in at least 3 areas: 1) testing UI 2) testing with database - data setup, isolation, etc. and 3) mocks. Kent's book is more about a philosophy of TDD but it only goes through a very simple "toy" example. Dave's book really helped me to understand mocks and it does cover UI testing in great length. Mocks are an advanced topic, so it does require a good knowledge of Java and OOP. The rest of the book seems to be on intermediate technical level.
The only thing this book is missing, I think, is a discussion about data setup and database-related testing, dbUnit, etc., other than an advice to avoid it altogether (p. 83). While you can indeed use mocks to avoid it, on the large real projects some kind of integration testing (including testing with the database) will be necessary. I hope the second edition will come out at some point!
Overall, it's a great book for both newcomers and developers with unit testing experience. BTW, it won SD West 2004 Jolt Award.
Comment 18 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Test-driven development (TDD) is one of the hot topics in the recent "agile revolution". Unfortunately, there aren't too many texts currently available that take an in-depth look at the subject. David Astels jumps into the fray with his new book, "Test-Driven Development: A Practical Guide", in order to help fill that void. Giving a nod to Kent Beck's "Test Driven Development By Example", Astels views his work as a complement to Beck's, focusing on the practical techniques and tools necessary to best make use of TDD.
The book first touches on some topics fundamental to TDD, such as refactoring, programming by intention, and of course the basic theory behind TDD. Appendices further flesh out this material by addressing extreme programming and agile modeling.
Although other members of the xUnit family are looked at, this book is squarely focused on JUnit and Java. As such, the text goes into detail about using JUnit, including the API, and how to go about the task of writing tests. Along with the JUnit coverage, the reader is presented with information on several JUnit extensions and JUnit related tools designed to aid the TDD process. Where this book really shines is in its coverage of mock objects and techniques for testing GUIs within JUnit.
The meat of this book rests in a very detailed walkthrough of a project using TDD. Astels leads the reader through every test and every refactoring along the way, from inception to the finished product. This is probably the next best thing to sitting down for a pair-programming session with a TDD guru.
Unfortunately, there are a couple of complaints I feel the need to point out. The project presented is a Swing application that persists its data in a flat file.
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Format: Paperback
This book has changed the way I write software. It clearly states why you should do test-driven development and what tools are available, then backs this up with 200+ pages of how to do it with real code and text that captures the experience of developing a complex Java project test first.
I'm a pragmatic person, so seeing the actual code and screenshots made concepts that I thought were difficult to achieve like writing tests before writing the implementation or testing GUIs (a subject that most people avoid) look surprisingly easy. All of the code in the book can be downloaded, but I found that it was more instructive to actually type in the code into an IDE. Following along with the project shows you how to proceed with test-driven development and what to expect. For example, you'll see when you need to refactor your tests or why you should test-drive most, but not all of your GUI code.
After reading this book and implementing what I have learned in it, I absolutely agree with something that Ron Jeffries (another XP guru) wrote in the preface to this book: "If you're like me, using the techniques in [this] book, you will find that your programs are more clear, that they come into being more easily, and that you'll have fewer defects than you used to."
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