The Benefits of Unit Testing

This article by Ekaterina Novoseltseva on DZone (DevOps Zone) is about 8 benefits of unit testing. In the article, she breaks down how her company, Apiumhub, utilizes unit testing in order to stay Agile. She also breaks down several of the benefits of unit testing including relation to Agile, quality of code improvements, reduction of costs, and several others.

I found this article interesting because while I knew some of these benefits of unit testing, I never thought of some of the specific examples like the relation to Agile. She points out that unit testing facilitates “safe refactoring” by forcing developers to use the smallest functionality possible for testing a single unit. I agree completely with her in regards to Agile especially after she pointed out that this goes hand in hand with extreme programming and test driven development.

Personally, I’d never used test driven development at a large scale before so I’ve never really considered the benefits. The section on the benefits to design really pushes the idea that test driven development makes code more optimized, with cleaner designs. When breaking everything down into a unit first, figuring out what each unit is, and defining what the functionality is through tests, you are forced to consider the designs of the actual functions before writing them.

Another point that she makes that is probably one of the most important to the business is that unit testing reduces costs for the development process. Unit testing finds bugs early in the process because the tests are either written before the code is even written, or before moving onto the next snippet of functionality in order to stay Agile. This means that application-breaking bugs are less likely to be found in the later stages of the development process like “system testing” or “acceptance testing” as Ekaterina points out in the article.

I wholeheartedly recommend this article to anyone who is relatively new to unit testing and doesn’t is any bit unsure of the possible reasons why unit testing is so important. I can see myself utilizing unit testing more in my personal projects in the future as I already try to work on them in some resemblance of an Agile process.

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