Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday question: testing in .NET

A reader wrote to me asking resources for learning how to implement Test-Driven Development in an .NET environment:
Please pardon me for my unsolicited email, but I saw your blog and I believe that you are one of the best in the software community. My name is [omissis], and I'm a C#/ASP.NET programmer from the Philippines, but I really want to learn and understand Unit Testing and TDD the right way. I didn't take Computer Science or a similar course in college. I really want to learn software design and development, on how to develop an application from ground-up using TDD. I hope you can give me advices, since I'm not able to afford a good book.
I am no particular expert in C# since I mostly work in php. As you may know, I have written a free CreativeCommons-licensed ebook on php applications testing.
For the .Net case, if you are a beginner, there is a book I reviewed which is a good starting point: The Art Of Unit Testing, which has lots of .NET examples included.
It costs $26 on Amazon now, which you can consider an investment since the knowledge contained could make you earn more in the future. It is a very complete book.
You can also obtain the book for free via other means, such as public libraries. I personally use a lot my university's library to look for information in technical books like Design Patterns when I am not going to buy a copy at the moment, as they are not diffused in normal libraries. You already pay for libraries with your taxes so you'd better take advantage of them.

Once you have the basis, the best way to improve is practicing... Someone said that a developer becomes proficient in unit testing after having written 1500 tests.
For general advice, you may also follow this blog and the Google Testing one, although they are focused on technologies different from .NET.
The principles of testable and decoupled design are the same in all object-oriented languages, and the distinction between C# and php resides in how and when an application object graph is created.
I hope you can find this references useful to start your journey.

1 comment:

romanb said...

As Giorgio said, the principles are the same.

For .NET I've been happy so far with NUnit ( + NMock (, both freely available.