Creating Maintainable Contexts for Automated Testing

by Mel Grubb

Learn how to create effective and maintainable test contexts that help guide other team members rather than acting as a barrier. Keep your contexts focused on the relevant details through the use of the Object Mother and Object Builder patterns.

What you'll learn

In this course, you'll see a demonstration of a typical hand-built test context, and the factors that make it brittle and hard to maintain. By using software principles we're all familiar with, and some patterns we may not have seen before, we can create contexts that remain focused on the information most important to understanding what the tests are trying to tell your team. We'll start with general principles, and then move into the Object Mother pattern, a common approach to extracting test context creation tasks. From there, we'll move into the Object Builder pattern, a more modern and expressive evolution of the Object Mother. Finally, you'll see how to use Roslyn-based C# scripts to generate the tedious parts of the Object Builder pattern, so that you can get back to the interesting stuff. When you’re finished with this course, you will have an appreciation for what makes for a good test context, and the skills to apply this knowledge to your current and future projects.

About the author

Mel Grubb has been a professional software developer since 1995, working with .Net since version 1.0. Before that, he was a hobbyist since receiving his first computer, a TI-99/4a in 1982, and heavily modifying it over the course of several years. He's a software developer in central Ohio, concentrating on C# and ASP.Net MVC solutions with a focus on simplicity, testability, and overall coding craftsmanship.

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