Thomas Sundberg

March 7, 2012

What is a good test?

This post has been migrated to

A colleague asked that question the other day. What is a good test? It is a really difficult question to answer. There are a number of properties that hold true for a good test. I will list some of them and discuss why I think they are important. Others may think that the order of importance is different or that other properties are more important then those that I list.

I will show some examples using Java and JUnit of what I think are bad tests and how they can be refactored to something better.

Tests are automated in my world. I always try to avoid manually testing. The main reason for this is that manual testing is slow and hard to repeat arbitrary many times. Therefore, test should be read as automated test in for the rest of this text.


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