Ask An Earthling: Automated Testing & Test Driven Development

Earthling’s approach to testing has evolved over the years. Like many software development operations, we’ve been refining our protocol based on experience and resident skill set. Every project has unique QA demands so we strive to achieve the right balance of manual vs. automated tests while ensuring that the latter are built with a proper proportion of unit, integration, and feature tests. In this series of interview questions, Earthling’s application architect Steve Brudz talks about automated testing and shares his insights on how to get it as close to perfect as you can.



Automated Testing

“It can be very painful to test manually every time you make a change to the system so really what you want to do is automate your testing as much as possible (while keeping) a balance.”

Types of Tests

Unit tests Integration tests (aka service tests) Feature Tests (aka web tests, UI tests)  

Testing: Timing and Scale

“If you’re crunched for budget there can be that pressure not to write tests because it takes time and (may seem like) it’s going to detract from the ability to get the software ready for demo… but actually writing tests can help accelerate your progress if you invest wisely.”

Feature Tests: Benefits and Pitfalls

“There’s a temptation to keep adding tests and do all the (possible) permutations. But if you do that all at the feature test level you end up having very slow tests, they take a long time to run, and they are expensive to maintain.”