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functional tests vs. unit tests

paul wheaton
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Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20695
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This thread is in response to the section of the unit testing article called "The Trouble With Too Many Functional Tests".


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Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
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Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24187
    
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Designing code that can be truly unit tested is an art. It's not something that every Joe Programmer off the street knows how to do well. The article should acknowledge this fact more. It's easy to make these recommendations, but harder to make people understand that they're really achievable.


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Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
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Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30965
    
158

"I don't mind if my unit test suite takes a few minutes to run." But do the other people on your team mind? Does your team lead mind? Your manager? If it take a few minutes instead of a few seconds, do you still run the full suite a dozen times a day? At what point do people stop running the tests at all?

We've never gotten to the point where the unit test suite takes too long for us all to run frequently. It's 1-2 minutes for a few thousand tests.

With the "short running" integration tests, after 6-10 minutes we all stopped running the full suite of tests. That was a sign that it needed refactoring and we got down to a more manageable amount.

I learned that a key here is that people don't always complain the tests are slow. Just slowly stop running them.


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subject: functional tests vs. unit tests