Friday, June 2

Unit Testing: What Is It?

Unit testing is a well-established concept. It has existed since the dawn of programming. Unit tests are often written by developers and sometimes white box testers to enhance code quality by evaluating each unit of code used to implement functional requirements (aka test-driven development TDD or test-first development).

Most of us are familiar with the traditional definition: “Unit testing is a technique for validating the tiniest piece of testable code against its intended purpose.” If the goal or condition is not met, the unit test is said to have failed.

In plain English, this implies developing a piece of code (a unit test) to validate the code (a unit) produced to implement requirements.

Unit Testing as part of the SDLC

Unit testing is a process in which developers do manual or automated tests to guarantee that each software unit complies with the customer’s requirements. This unit may be a single function, object, method, process, or module inside the tested program.

Unit testing in Test Life Cycle

Building unit tests to validate individual units simplifies writing complete tests since all the units are combined. It is performed as the initial stage of testing during software development.

The Importance of Unit Tests

Unit testing is used to create resilient software components that aid in the maintenance of code and the elimination of errors within code units. We are all aware of the critical nature of identifying and correcting errors throughout the early phases of the software development cycle. This Testing does the same thing.

It is a necessary component of agile software development. The unit test suite should be executed when the nightly build is performed, and a report created. If any of the unit tests fail, the QA team should decline to verify that build.

If this becomes a regular procedure, many flaws will be discovered early in the development cycle, saving considerable testing time.

I’m aware that many developers despise writing unit tests. They either neglect or create poor unit test cases due to a tight timeline or a lack of seriousness (yes, they write empty unit tests that pass 100% of the time ;-)). It is critical to build high-quality unit tests or refrain from writing them at all. It is much more essential to offer enough time and a supportive atmosphere to ensure lasting results.

Unit Testing Techniques

It may be accomplished in two ways:

1. Manual Testing

2. Testing Automated

Manual Testing is a process in which the tester manually performs test cases without the assistance of any automation technology. Each step of the test is carried out manually in this case. Manual Testing is time-consuming, particularly for repeated tests, and needs additional work to build and run test cases. Manual Testing does not involve familiarity with any particular testing technology.

It is a truth that 100% automation is not achievable, so some human Testing will always be undertaken.

In Automated Testing, test/test cases are automated using software testing automation technologies. The automation tool may record and preserve your test, which can be replayed indefinitely without further human interaction.

These tools may also be used to insert test data into the evaluated system, compare predicted and actual findings, and automatically create reports. However, the initial investment in test automation technologies is substantial.

Unit Testing Techniques

White Box Testing:

In white-box testing, the tester is aware of the software’s internal structure, including the code, and can validate it against the design and requirements. As a result, white box testing is also referred to as transparent Testing.

Black Box Testing:

In black-box testing, the tester is unaware of the software’s internal structures or code.

Grey Box Testing:

This is also known as semi-transparent method testing since the testers are only partly aware of the underlying structure, functionalities, and designs of the application and the requirements.

Debugging is accomplished by using real front-end input to get precise data from the back-end. As a result, the grey box is considered a hybrid of black box and white box testing approaches.

Grey box testing is a term that encompasses the following sorts of Testing:

  • Matrix Analysis.
  • Pattern Recognition.
  • Testing for Orthogonal Patterns.
  • Regression Analysis.

Unit Testing Cycle

What Constitutes an Effective Unit Test?

While I am not qualified to discuss what constitutes a good unit test, I can describe the qualities of a good unit test based on my observations on other projects. Ineffective unit tests offer no value to the project. Rather than that, project expenses grow dramatically as a result of designing and maintaining inadequate Unit Tests.

How do you create practical unit tests?

  • Unit tests should be created to validate individual pieces of code, not the integration.
  • Writing and maintaining small, isolated unit tests with explicit naming conventions would be a breeze.
  • If unit tests are isolated and developed for a single code unit, changing to another area of the product should have no effect.
  • It should be responsive.
  • Reusable unit tests should be used.

Frameworks for Unit Testing

Unit testing frameworks are mainly used to assist in the rapid and easy creation of unit tests. The majority of computer languages do not provide a built-in compiler that supports unit testing. Third-party open source and commercial tools may be used to increase the enjoyment of unit testing.

The following is a list of popular unit testing tools for various programming languages:

  • JUnit framework for Java
  • Framework for PHP – PHPUnit
  • Frameworks written in C++ – UnitTest++ and Google C++
  • NUnit –.NET framework
  • Python framework for Testing – py. test

Contradictions and Accuracy

  • Writing code using unit test cases takes more time, and we don’t have time for that — In actuality, it would save you time in the long run.
  • Unit testing will uncover all flaws – It will not, since the purpose of unit testing is not to find bugs but to produce robust software components with fewer faults in the latter phases of the SDLC.
  • 100% code coverage equates to 100% test coverage — this does not imply that the code is error-free.

How to Accept Unit Testing?

Effective unit testing may be broken down into three fundamental components.

  • Create a unit test.
  • Verify that the unit test code satisfies the system requirements by running it.
  • Run the software code to check for flaws and ensure that it complies with the system requirements.

If the code looks accurate after completing the preceding three phases, the unit test is considered to have succeeded. The test will fail if it does not conform to the system requirements. The developer must then review and fix the code.

Separating the code is sometimes essential to accomplish this Testing more appropriately.

Optimal Practice

Consider the following criteria while writing the optimal code for this Testing:

  • Code should be robust: In certain circumstances, tests will fail or, in the worst-case scenario, will not be performed at all if the code is faulty.
  • Reasonable and understandable: The code should be simple to comprehend. This simplifies the developer’s task of writing the code and simplifies the debugging process for future developers.
  • Should specify a single case: Tests that describe several instances in a single statement are challenging to work with. Thus, creating single-case code is an excellent practice since it simplifies the code’s comprehension and debugging.
  • Enable automated Testing: Developers should ensure that the tests are automated. It should be part of a process of continuous delivery or integration.
  • Additionally, the following considerations should be considered:
  • Rather than writing test cases for every possible situation, concentrate on the one that impacts the system’s behavior.
  • There is a possibility that the problem may repeat owing to the browser’s cache.
  • Test cases should not be dependant on one another.
  • Keep an eye on the loop condition as well.
  • Increase the frequency with which test cases are planned.


When it is necessary to test each function independently, unit testing becomes essential. It is much more rational to uncover and repair issues during this Testing and save time and money than to discover them later in the software development process.

While it has several benefits, it also has certain drawbacks. To overcome limits and achieve the anticipated advantages, rigorous discipline and consistency are essential throughout the software development process.

For more information regarding software testing such as Agile testing, you can also check our management section on our website by clicking here.

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