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Unit Testing For Managers

When having Test Driven development process, sometimes even as a part of the Agile or Scrum developing strategy, we want to make everything much faster and efficient. One way suggested was to design the unit tests even before the coding process by the ones who are responsible for requirement definitions and coding implementation. Ok, you're thinking about the many organizational problems it can cause, and how impractical it seems. Is it worth the effort and bumpy ride, just for the sake of it ?

What are the gains? Our developing process gain can not always be measured with direct investment. Sometimes it's a question of : does your product stays competitive in features and TTM.? Today winning or losing your business stands on speed and quality. Doing most of the tests during development under the R&D management, proved us that problems are solved much faster, much accurately, and by the same specialist (saves time, no learning and understanding curve). Getting the desired developing speed and focus really stands on how much unit tests do we have. The more accurate unit test you have, the higher chance that the coding process will be done on time and with higher quality level (less defect will be found later on)

So how much unit testing is enough ? Well the only people that can answer this question are the one who fully understand the requirements and the code design, that is to say the Project managers, Coding designers, Development Team leader, etc.

Can we convince them to write the unit tests ? Firstly, it depends on the Unit testing framework strength level. As much simpler it will be as less effort they will put in order to set the tests. The unit testing high level design should be fast and very intuitive. No time here for learning curve, and other time thieves. Secondly, it depends on the Unit testing framework embedded options into the developers editors (development IDE), as much integrative it will be, the easier it will be for the teams to set, maintain and activate their tests, regarding operation, it should be as easy as pressing a button.

What do we gain from a Fast Unit testing designing method ? 1. QA efforts can be dropped by more than 30% !! 2. Less Retesting if Bug fixing is required, TTM can be reduced by more than 10% 3. Maintenance time can be reduced by more than 50%. And system can be much more cooperative with the customer needs, desires and changes.

How do we control the process ? Many companies after bad experience with developers unit testing implementation, came to conclusion that best is to have a small unit testing team, or integration team that will check and test the main features. So what is the difference between this against putting it under the QA responsibility as well ? - well not much gain with this system beside some small politics relief. Other way is to maintain the 'Grade' system, meaning that you design a grade process and evaluation standards through which you measure each part/team within the developing process. And if one of the testing points are 'defects found on unit testing', 'defects found in QA', 'development time', 'QA testing time', etc. you will cause the developers to be more efficient and accurate. Note that every time you mention a testing point under the R&D umbrella, I also look on the parallel testing point under the QA umbrella as well. Because those two processes have a very tight relationship, and every delay or problem found on any of those processes have a mediate influence on the other. Unit testing has a great influence on the product time to market but it's a headache for the coding teams. The best solution is:

Automatic Unit testing . Which can be later integrated into the Automatic QA Functional testing.

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