Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Okay, *this* is a good argument for unit tests

By and large, I'm fonder of user-level scenario tests than I am of unit tests -- I think they give you far more bang for the effort buck.

That said, unit tests are often helpful and sometimes crucial. A really good example of such is the explanation for why 30GB Microsoft Zunes all failed on Wednesday. Summary: it was a very dumb code bug that turned into an infinite loop on the last day of any leap year, and just the sort of thing that a well-written unit test suite might well have caught.

Closely related to this: Microsoft is pushing automated testing tools rather hard right now, especially new tools that will automatically write many of the easy and obvious tests. I'd be curious to know whether the Zune was exposed to these tools, and whether they would have caught the bug if so. It's the sort of thing that a reasonably disciplined QE programmer might well consider fairly obvious (test the first, last and somewhere-in-the-middle days for a variety of years), but I could easily see an automated system not getting. It would be useful to know whether the automated tools are good enough to catch this kind of thing...
Tags: programming

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