What is test driven development and what does it mean for your business?

What is test driven development and what does it mean for your business?

By Sean Blair,
CTO at MXOtech

The only way for a business to survive in a world dictated by fast-changing technology is to evolve with it. A business must learn to improve its existing technology to remain competitive. How can this be done? We can learn a thing or two from the principle of test driven development (TDD).


What is TDD?

TDD is a software development process that takes small steps instead of rolling out big changes at once. It ensures that every function created is thoroughly tested. TDD follows three simple rules:

    Law 1: You are not allowed to write any production code unless it is to make a failing unit test pass. This means one must write a test that will determine whether or not the additional production code will work. Create the unit test for the function that is being desired, then write the code that will be tested by this function. Tests are created first, then production code that will be tested. The test will set the standards and requirement for the code. Only write code that will be testable.

    An example of this would be creating an card game application. In following the first rule of TDD, your first step would be to create a test to verify that you can instantiate an instance of the game.

    Law 2: You are not allowed to write any more of a unit test than is sufficient to fail; and compilation failures are failures. This essentially means to start your tests small and work your way up: write only the minimum code it takes to fail a test. In other words, write a test for a specific function, test the function, then write a test for the next function.

    Law 3: You are not allowed to write any more production code than is sufficient to pass the one failing unit test. After a failed test, you must make the most minimal changes to your code just enough for it to pass. Write only enough code to pass the test, nothing more.

Related article: Benefits of custom web applications for your business

Further development in TDD is not allowed unless the existing code passes a test. This short and simple development process ensures that every single line of code in the development process works, so that the resulting product also works.

"Well, someone messed up. Guess we're gonna have to write it all over again."

TDD in custom web application development

A custom web application, unlike commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software, is specifically developed to address some unique business needs. It is built from scratch with the help of a trusted developer. MXOtech, for example, has partnered with various healthcare-related businesses in the Greater Chicago Area to design and build customized technology solutions concerning data management, data security, and industry-specific standards like HIPAA and HEDIS measures.

The TDD process can be applied to the development of a custom web application. Each line of your custom software’s code is tried and tested, so that the end product is guaranteed to address your technology concerns completely. Moreover, because the code passed specific tests regarding the deployment of the software, you'll be able to run the application and integrate it into your workflows immediately with little to no modification.

Related article: 5 business benefits of workflow automation

TDD, custom web applications, and your business

TDD ensures that every part of a custom web application has been tested so it runs smoothly. From Healthcare Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Integration to establishing healthcare portals for clients, your web app will deliver the results you want by the standards you specified.

But why should you opt for a custom web application over COTS? Simple: because you stand to enjoy several benefits. These include reduced costs, streamlined workflows, higher employee productivity, and more efficient business because of your application’s swift deployment, perfect workflow integration, and ability to address all your technology considerations.

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If your business is located in Chicago, MXOtech is your trusted local IT solutions provider. Our 98% client retention rate speaks for the way we deliver our products and services. Partner with us today.