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Discover What Is Test-Driven Development and How It Can Help You

Get These 6 Benefits of Test-Driven Development

What is test-driven development? Learn the full benefits of using a test-driven approach for software development.

In today’s highly competitive tech industry, time is an essential asset. It’s especially important in the context of software development, wherein the timeline influences the cost. This is why the biggest tech companies follow the approach of test-driven development (TDD) to maximize resources and follow roadmap timelines.

TDD brings a lot of advantages for business. With rigorous testing, development teams can work more efficiently to reduce overall development costs. Planning code strategically will significantly reduce development time and build products faster.    

But what exactly is TDD? How does it help businesses maximize the efficiency of their development project? In this entry, we’ll break down how TDD works and how it can improve your project’s output.

What Is Test-Driven Development?

Most software development teams have used Agile methodology over the last two decades. Given the constant changes in software development requirements, it’s not surprising companies are adopting development strategies that focus more on continuous delivery and faster time to market. One of the emerging trends that has grown popular in recent years is TDD.

In software development, teams often have to deal with the dilemma of prioritizing speed vs. quality. They typically have to prioritize one over the other to ensure their deliverables. However, the TDD approach puts extra emphasis on quality. It is one of the most recent techniques in Agile software development that has become more popular.

Principles of Test-Driven Development

The concept of TDD is a software development approach that focuses on establishing unit test cases before writing actual code. It is a methodology that combines programming, unit testing, and refactoring.

Test-driven development is based on the Agile manifesto concepts and Extreme programming. The test process, as the name implies, drives software development. Furthermore, it is a structural method that allows developers and testers to obtain efficient and long-lasting code.

TDD requires developers to write small test cases for each feature based on their initial understanding. The major goal of this strategy is only to modify or write new code if the tests fail. This avoids the duplication of test scripts.

Why Use Test-Driven Development?

What are the benefits of test-driven development? Here are the ways it positively influences the flow of the software development cycle.    

Six Benefits of Test-Driven Development
Get These 6 Benefits of Test-Driven Development 1

1. Modular Software Design

TDD requires developers to focus on a single feature at a time, not moving on to the next one until the corresponding unit test passes. When writing code in such iterations, the code quality improves automatically, making finding flaws and reusing the code easier. When code becomes modular and unit-testable, it contributes to improved solution architecture. This corresponds to the concepts of modular software design and trains developers to keep their code tidy.

2. Easier Code Maintenance

Organized code is considerably easier to work with when it comes to adjustments. When developers use the TDD approach, they automatically produce cleaner, more legible, and manageable code. Focusing on smaller, more digestible code chunks demands less effort from developers and makes test requirements easier to meet. Clean code is very useful when jobs are passed between product team members.

3. Smoother Code Refactoring

One of the most significant advantages of test-driven development is that it makes the code much more manageable. TDD also helps to greatly reduce the overall number of hours spent on testing and maintenance tasks. Application maintenance may take twice as long as it does without TDD when compared to software development lifecycles that use TDD.

The next required step in the TDD process is refactoring, which stands for optimization of current code and has one objective – to make it easier to introduce. If the code for a minor enhancement or feature passes the initial tests, it can be refactored to acceptable standards. This test-driven technique works equally well with old code because the steps are the same: add another test, run it, see if the new one fails, create code, test, refactor, and repeat.

4. Lower Cost, Higher Revenue

TDD reduces the overall cost of product development because maintenance and bug fixes take less time and effort. As a result, the cost of developing a custom marketplace, SaaS products, and other customized solutions is reduced.

Keep in mind that these cost savings come over the product’s lifecycle. TDD will almost always cost more in the short run because additional testing expenditures are linked with the project.

However, without the “test-first” approach, most projects become expensive in the long run. Plus, when there is no test code coverage, a project will be at a higher risk of failure. Various bugs and technical issues can quickly add to your product’s budget. Without built-in testing standards, most development teams will spend more time fixing all these bugs.

In summary, TDD can reduce your time-to-market speed. It will cost more in the short term but typically reduces a project’s overall cost while increasing quality and mitigating the risk of failure.

5. Better Documentation

There is no immediate need to spend time developing complex and time-consuming documentation that is difficult to maintain when utilizing this strategy. Because there are so many simple unit tests, they can serve as documentation and demonstrate how the code is supposed to work. It also frees up both programmers’ and testers’ time and resources for their initial jobs.

6. Less Debugging

The key advantage of the TDD approach is fewer problems and errors. When the code contains fewer flaws, you will spend less time repairing them than with other programming methods. TDD results in greater total test coverage and, as a result, higher final product quality.

Codebases get increasingly difficult to alter as they increase in size. Because defects are more difficult to uncover in larger codebases, the usual “test-at-the-end” technique puts them in greater danger. It’s considerably more difficult to find the needle in a larger haystack.

It is easier to find faults in a faster timeframe when using a TDD approach. Furthermore, when something goes wrong, developers discover it sooner.

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