Skip to main content

More on getting started with unit testing

In a previous post I talked about how I was finally able to start writing unit tests.  In this post I will discuss how I went from just starting out to where I am now.  This has involved splitting our database access object into two parts, creating an object factory, and a few mock objects.  I think they are mock objects and not stubs, but I may need to read about that a little more before I finish this post.


As much as possible while getting started I have been trying to do TDD (Test Driven Development).  This means I am following the process of writing tests first and then writing code that makes the tests passed.  I did have to make some tests for some existing code before getting started.
As I mentioned in the first post, at work we use a cfc that I wrote to do most of our database interaction.  If you are familiar with active records in Ruby on Rails it is similar to that.  I don't have much experience with rails but I think it is pretty similar anyway.  It doesn't really matter though for the purposes of my unit testing explanation.
Cfcs that extend that one are used in many places in our system and more places use it all the time.  So I decided it was a good object to start writing tests for.  The problem I ran into right away though was that much of what the cfc does is database activity.
We don't use the cfc directly.  It is always extended so I made an object in my tests folder that extends the database cfc.  Then I made a table in our dev database to use for my tests.  Then I had to setup tests for all the existing functions in the cfc.  After that I had a bunch of unit tests that do actual database activity.   I know I'm not supposed to do that, but at the time it was the only way I could get the tests written.
Now that I had tests I was able to make changes without fear of breaking everything.  Over several weeks or months I continued refactoring the code.  Eventually I reduced the number of methods that actually did database activity.  After that I was able to split the database activity into a separate class.
With that done now I was able to create a mock object for the query methods.   I also created an object factory object that allows me to inject the mock database object.  I think I'll stop here and maybe write up a few more details and some conclusions in another post.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Getting Hidden App Data From Your Google Drive

Some Android applications use space on your Google Drive to store data.  You can't see this data by browsing drive the normal way.  You can get access to it if you get the access token from the app and do a few other things.

I use an app to keep some notes and other things.  They require getting the paid version of the app to backup your data.  I wanted to see if I could get it myself without paying for the app.  I found out how to do this from this Stackoverflow post http://stackoverflow.com/questions/22832104/see-hidden-app-data-in-google-drive.  The example there uses php. Since I have been learning Python recently, I decided to see if I could do the same thing with Python.

 There is a pretty good explanation of why you need to go through all the steps you need to go through to get your data in the accepted answer for that post, so I won't go into too much detail about that here.


My First Memories of Coding

The first time I remember writing code was in grade school in the computer lab.  We were learning Basic.  I'm not sure how old I was, but it would have been sometime in the late '80s or early '90s.  I remember they had us write a program that would take some numbers from the user and print out the average.  I had to ask how to do division. I had only seen it with the standard division symbol in math class, not the forward slash.  Soon after that I was able to get Basic on my home PC.  Actually I think it was included in MS-DOS.

At school and in the beginning at home I was using Basic where you had to use line numbers to write your code.  Then to edit a line you had to retype that line with the number.  Soon after that I was able to get QBasic and a book to help me get started.


Python control of Broadlink RM2 wifi remote

I recently got a Broadlink wifi remote.  I have been playing around trying to send commands to it with python.  I found code on github that does most of what I need.  It looks like the device itself doesn't learn any remote codes.  It is all in the app.  The code I found can send codes to the device and get codes from learning mode. I have a bunch of buttons programmed in the app already.  I wanted to see if I could get those codes.  I think I got them today.  The app, called eControls, allows you to backup your setup.  Today I was able to get my backup file from their backup site. Tomorrow I will try to use the codes from the backup.