Friday, December 17, 2010

Continuous Testing with Ruby

Feedback. We’re always telling you that you need feedback, with a short feedback gap — the time it takes to get feedback on your decisions, your code, your designs. Well, what if you narrowed the feedback gap to near zero while coding? You’d have continuous testing, a powerful idea that lets you fix bugs while they’re still small and fresh.

Continuous Testing with Ruby shows you how to use a combination of tests, tools, and techniques to immediately detect problems in code, before they spread.

We’ll show you how to set up and run automated tests that check your work continuously as you write code. You’ll start with tools such as Autotest and Watchr, and see how to use them effectively in a continuous environment. You’ll discover the fundamentals of creating and maintaining a test suite that’s Fast, Informative, Reliable, and Exhaustive. You’ll use powerful techniques such as inline assertions—a much better alternative to debugging or console printing. You’ll even use Ruby’s metaprogramming features to quickly find and diagnose problems using existing tests.

But continuous testing isn’t limited to just Ruby; we’ll show you how to extend these ideas and tools to other languages and frameworks, including Ruby on Rails and JavaScript. You’ll be able to create feedback loops that validate decisions made outside of your code: you can automatically verify Rails migrations, instantly check changes to stylesheets and views, and quickly validate documentation, seed data, and other essential configuration and settings.

Many developers today struggle to gain all the benefits of automated testing, due to poorly written or incomplete tests. Continuous Testing with Ruby shows how you can improve the quality of your existing tests and ensure the new tests that you write will do the job. By giving you instant feedback about the quality of your code and the quality of your tests, continuous testing creates a visceral feedback loop that you can actually feel as you work.

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