"Perl for Perl Newbies" - Part 5 - Good Programming PracticesAutomated TestingMotivation for Testing

2.1. Motivation for Testing

So why do we want to perform automated software testing? The first reason is to prevent bugs. By writing tests before we write the production code itself (so-called Test-First Development) we ascertain that the production code behaves according to the specification given in the tests. That way, bugs that could occur, if the code was deployed right away, or tested only manually, would be prevented.

Another reason is to make sure that bugs and regressions are not reintroduced in the code-base. Say we have a bug, and we write a meaningful test that fails when the bug is still in the code, and only then fix the bug. In that case, we can re-use the test in the future to make sure the bug is not present in the current version of the code. If the bug re-surfaces in a certain variation, then it will likely be caught by the test.

Finally, by writing tests we provide specifications to the code and even some form of API documentation, as well as examples of what we want the code to achieve. This causes less duplication than writing separate specification documents and examples, and, furthermore, is validated to be functional.

Written by Shlomi Fish