A Perl toolbox for regression tests


Article from Issue 61/2005

With a test suite, you can fix bugs and add new features without ruining the existing codebase.

A program that works right the first time is uncommon enough to make you suspicious. In test-driven development, developers first define a test case before implementing a feature. Inevitably, the test will fail at first, but as soon as the feature gets implemented – presto – the test suite gives a thumbs up. This technique motivates developers throughout the development lifecycle; each new test adds to the test suite and will be executed again and again as the project emerges. Small steps add up to a detailed test suite that no quality management department in the world would be capable of achieving. In case of ongoing development and refactoring, there is always some danger of a change introducing undesirable side effects. Having the ability to run hundreds of test cases at no cost takes the worries out of replacing parts of a system. Developers can roll out new releases on a regular basis and yet sleep tight and enjoy sweet dreams. You don’t need to be an Extreme Programming enthusiast to see the benefits.

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