Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Testability and Design

As Michael Feathers notes, 'The Deep Synergy Between Testability and Good Design', there is a lot of discussion about how to test private methods. I think he's absolutely correct that the need to test a private method is a hint about the design. I've been reviewing a class that I was never completely happy with because it exposes private methods for testing. Looking at it today I'm sure it would be possible to extract a class that would improve the design and fix the problem. It would have been much easier to clean this up when I was writing the code than to find the time to fix it now. I wish I had listened closer to the hint that my test was giving me.

It's pretty amazing how much we learn about the goodness of a design when try to test it. In the past I used to write fewer and larger classes than I do today. Most of the reason for the change is for better unit tests.


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