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Michael C. Feathers
The average book on Agile software development describes a fairyland of greenfield projects, with wall-to-wall tests that run after every few edits, and clean & simple source code.
The average software project, in our industry, was written under some aspect of code-and-fix, and without automated unit tests. And we can't just throw this code away; it represents a significant effort debugging and maintaining. It contains many latent requirements decisions. Just as Agile processes are incremental, Agile adoption must be incremental too. No more throwing away code just because it looked at us funny.
Mike begins his book with a very diplomatic definition of "Legacy". I'l skip ahead to the undiplomatic version: Legacy code is code without unit tests.
Before cleaning that code up, and before adding new features and removing bugs, such code must be de-legacified. It needs unit tests.
To add unit tests, you must change the code. To change the code, you need unit tests to show how safe your change was.
The core of the book is a cookbook of recipes to conduct various careful attacks. Each presents a particular problem, and a relatively safe way to migrate the code towards tests.
Code undergoing this migration will begin to experience the benefits of unit tests, and these benefits will incrementally make new tests easier to write. These efforts will make aspects of a legacy codebase easy to change.
It's an unfortunate commentary on the state of our programming industry how much we need this book.
Martin Fowler, Kent Beck
Users can dramatically improve the design, performance, and manageability of object-oriented code without altering its interfaces or behavior. "Refactoring" shows users exactly how to spot the best opportunities for refactoring and exactly how to do it, step by step.
Andrew Hunt, David Thomas
Learn how to improve your C# coding skills using unit testing. Despite it's name, unit testing is really a coding technique, not a testing technique. Unit testing is done by programmers, for programmers. It's primarily for our benefit: we get improved confidence in our code, better ability to make deadlines, less time spent in the debugger, and less time beating on the code to make it work correctly. This book shows how to write tests, but more importantly, it goes where other books fear to tread and gives you concrete advice and examples of what to test--the common things that go wrong in all of our programs. Discover the tricky hiding places where bugs breed, and how to catch them using the freely available NUnit framework. It's easy to learn how to think of all the things in your code that are likely to break. We'll show you how with helpful mnemonics, summarized in a handy tip sheet (also available from ourwww.pragmaticprogrammer.comwebsite). With this book you will: Write better code, and take less time to write it Discover the tricky places where bugs breed Learn how to think of all the things that could go wrong Test individual pieces of code without having to include the whole project Test effectively with the whole team We'll also cover how to use Mock Objects for testing, how to write high quality test code, and how to use unit testing to improve your design skills. We'll show you frequent "gotchas"--along with the fixes--to save you time when problems come up. But the best part is that you don't need a sweeping mandate to change your whole team or your whole company. You don't need to adopt Extreme Programming, or Test-Driven Development, or change your development process in order to reap the proven benefits of unit testing. You can start unit testing, the pragmatic way, right away.