What Mistakes Can You Make in Designing Your Automated Tests

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We subtitled this session "Mistaeks I Hav Made" in Nat Pryce's honour. Facilitated by Paul O'Keeffe.

The Laundry List

Here's the list of gotchas we discussed:

  • Too much mocking.
  • Unit tests too tight.
  • Not refactoring test code as much as production code!
    • Copying and pasting test code.
  • Commenting out broken tests.
  • Testing at the wrong level.
  • Too many tests - take too long to run.
  • No cleanup after tests.
  • Not starting with clean test data setup.
  • Tests that don't respect the domain.
  • Only having big integration tests.
  • Not having team ownership of tests.
  • No test independence.
  • Tests that work by coincidence.
  • Time/timing dependent tests.
  • Not starting with a broken test.
  • Testing things that don't matter (for example, minor details of HTML).
  • Not testing exception cases.
  • Tests that spit out noise.
  • Tests that are just plain wrong.
  • Tests that don't check anything.
  • Not using data driven tests.