Should You Test Internal Implementation or Only Public Behavior?

Should You Test Internal Implementation or Only Public Behavior?

21 May 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

When developing software, a common question arises: should we focus on testing the internal implementation of our components, or is it sufficient to test only the public behavior? This article addresses this question and provides insights into the best practices for software testing.

Understanding Functional Testing vs. Unit Testing

Functional testing and unit testing are two critical aspects of software quality assurance, each serving a different purpose:

  • Functional Testing: This type of testing validates that the system or subsystem performs its intended functions correctly. It focuses on the overall behavior visible to the user.
  • Unit Testing: This testing checks individual components or units of code to ensure they work as expected. It provides a higher level of confidence in the correctness of specific parts of the codebase.

Both types of testing are complementary and essential for a robust testing strategy. While functional testing ensures that the system meets user requirements, unit testing helps catch bugs at an early stage by validating smaller units of code.

Practical Approach to Testing

Based on expert advice, a balanced approach to testing involves the following steps:

1. Start with Functional Testing

When working on an existing system, begin with functional testing to ensure that the overall system behaves as expected. This is crucial for validating user-facing functionality and identifying any major issues.

2. Implement Unit Tests for New Code

As you add new code or features, incorporate unit tests to validate each specific piece of functionality. This practice helps isolate and identify issues early, making debugging easier and more efficient.

3. Refactor and Test Internals

If internal code cannot be reached through public interfaces, consider refactoring to improve accessibility and testability. This ensures that all parts of the codebase are adequately tested and maintained.

Benefits of a Comprehensive Testing Strategy

Adopting a comprehensive testing strategy that includes both functional and unit tests offers several benefits:

  • Higher Confidence: Unit tests provide detailed insights into the correctness of individual components, while functional tests ensure that the system works as a whole.
  • Early Bug Detection: Unit tests catch issues early in the development cycle, reducing the cost and effort required for debugging later.
  • Improved Maintainability: Regular testing and refactoring improve the maintainability and scalability of the codebase.

Streamline Your Testing with Repeato

For developers seeking an efficient and user-friendly solution for test automation, Repeato offers an excellent option. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android, designed to create, run, and maintain automated tests for your apps quickly and efficiently.

Repeato leverages computer vision and AI to provide an intuitive test recorder and a no-code interface, making it accessible to testers of all skill levels. Additionally, advanced testers can utilize the scripting interface to automate complex use cases. For those testing websites inside an Android emulator or device, Repeato’s capabilities are already in place, with explicit web testing support coming soon.

Explore how Repeato can enhance your testing strategy by visiting our documentation or downloading the tool here.

Like this article? there’s more where that came from!