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How does Manning book by Lasse relate to other books about automatic testing?

Axel Janssen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164

For example xUnit patterns by Gerard Meszaros?
Or Junit Recipes by Rainsberger (a book which definitedly had (and has) its time for me)
How does Test Driven differ in focus and perspective?


Stefan Bell
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Joined: Aug 26, 2003
Posts: 82
I really like Beck's book "Test Driven Development by Example".
Eric Nielsen
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Joined: Dec 14, 2004
Posts: 194
I've read the MEAP PDF version of Test Driven, along with both Astel's and Beck's TDD books and am working my way through the xUnit Test pattern book.

I'd probably recommend a person start with either Astel's or Beck's. (I prefer Astel's presentation, but both are top-notch). I feel they both give a wonderful code-by-example feeling for the flow of TDD. The main difference I saw in their formulations was that Astel had greater emphasis on refactoring test code to keep it clean.

Test Driven on the other hand, I feel is a great second book on the topic of TDD; while it could serve as a first book, I didn't find its early chapters as good as the other two books at getting into the rhythm of TDD based development. However the later chapters on pulling Acceptance testing into the TDD meta-cycle was very appreciated and something I've been trying to do for quite some time. While not directly addressing it, Test Driven feels more like a reference book for a "team" implementing TDD, while Astel or Beck are for an "individual" learning TDD. Ultimately both are needed.

xUnit Test Patterns is more of a third book. Once you've embraced TDD and have some development under your belt and you can start looking for ways to improve the quality of your test code, infrastructure, and philosophy.
Lasse Koskela

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
Hi Axel,

Gerard's xUnit Patterns is an elaborate exploration from which my book covers (in chapter 4) only what I consider the most essential patterns.

Joe's JUnit Recipes on the other hand focuses on solving specific problems that one faces when trying to write tests for Java and J2EE code. There's some overlap with my book's second part (chapters 5-8) and for those sections the biggest differentiators are that I use JUnit 4 in my examples and I've again chosen a subset that I consider the most essential and useful for the reader.

Lastly, Kent's Test Driven Development By Example is an introduction to TDD where as Test Driven is that and more. I've tried my best to provide a compact but comprehensive foundation for TDD through Part 1 and to complement that with Part 2 bringing ammunition for the technical issues a reader needs to solve at work.

Finally, Part 3 is something that has little or no coverage in published literature to date. Introducing Acceptance TDD, exploring a number of related patterns and strategies, and ending with a full chapter on championing the adoption of new techniques such as TDD--that's something you can't really find elsewhere.

That last part comes with a disclaimer. I haven't really invented much "new" stuff in Test Driven. I've formulated things my way and I may have given a new perspective to things but, fundamentally, it all comes from the years of experience the Agile community has gathered as a whole. I have simply done the hard work of compiling that experience into a single book.

I hope this clarifies the value I've tried to provide and I'd love to hear how people are experiencing it.

Author of Test Driven (2007) and Effective Unit Testing (2013) [Blog] [HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch]
I agree. Here's the link:
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