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Test-Driven Development: A Practical Guide: A Practical Guide [Paperback]

by David Astels
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 12, 2003 0131016490 978-0131016491 1
Test-Driven Development: A Practical Guide presents TDD from the perspective of the working programmer: real projects, real challenges, real solutions, ...real code. Dave Astels explains TDD through a start-to-finish project written in Java and using JUnit. He introduces powerful TDD tools and techniques; shows how to utilize refactoring, mock objects, and "programming by intention"; even introduces TDD frameworks for C++, C#/.NET, Python, VB6, Ruby, and Smalltalk. Invaluable for anyone who wants to write better code... and have more fun doing it!

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Test-Driven Development: A Practical Guide: A Practical Guide + Test Driven Development: By Example + Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code
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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: 9.2 x 7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,099,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Falls short of its goal April 17, 2004
By A Customer
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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By dkroot
(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.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A practical guide to test-driven development August 6, 2003
By Jason
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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Demystifies Test-Driven Development (TDD) September 1, 2003
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars BOUGHT FOR A GIFT.
Bought for a requested birthday gift and I didn't hear any complaints. These items always seem to take so long to receive, but maybe that's normal.
Published 1 month ago by Verda Brunkow
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book on Test Driven Development
Out of the 3 books I have read about test driven development (TDD), this is by far the best. In fact, the other two were terrible.

What's great about this book? Read more
Published on August 13, 2009 by B7
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful but not perfect
Context: I've read a fair amount about TDD (including being a technical reviewer for Kent Beck's "By Example" book), but went a long time without getting a chance to use TDD. Read more
Published on November 5, 2006 by Paul S. R. Chisholm
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Whether you are a novoice or have been practicing TDD, this book is worth reading. It is really well organized, has great examples and explains how to use available TDD tools. Read more
Published on June 27, 2004 by Alex Iskold
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally, not just another book about web applications!
Dave's book does one thing that most other books in this field do not do: it avoids the web application. Hallelujah! Read more
Published on February 13, 2004 by J. B. Rainsberger
4.0 out of 5 stars TDD with some UI examples!
The single best thing that distinguishes this book from the other TDD books on the market is its effort to produce a believable application during the course of using TDD. Read more
Published on December 21, 2003 by Lars Bergstrom
5.0 out of 5 stars Mock object frameworks explained
For the first time I now understand the following mock object related frameworks,
- Mock Objects Framework
- Mock Maker
- Easy Mock
Alone, the chapter that... Read more
Published on October 10, 2003 by Keith
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Practical Resource
I have read Kent Beck's book also. That book is good, but this book really provides more practical advice on doing TDD development with JUnit. Read more
Published on August 8, 2003 by Roger Jack
3.0 out of 5 stars Wait for second edition
This book contains a lot of valuable information. Unfortunately, it is VERY much a first edition.
The bulk of the book is a TDD project of realistic scope. Read more
Published on August 8, 2003 by Clayton Carney
4.0 out of 5 stars My First TTD book, and a great one
This was my first book on TDD, and I thought it did a great job of explaining the concept and working through it step-by-step. Read more
Published on August 8, 2003 by Scouting in VT
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