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Building an application is not easy. There are many different approaches to project development, and Test-driven Development is one of them. It is believed that TDD is more time and cost-consuming, but in the long run, it is advantageous. 

In this article, we will try to understand what Test Driven Development is and its advantages.

What is Test-Driven Development?

The concept of TDD originated in the middle of the 20th century and has been applied in various industries. In 2002, the idea was rediscovered by an American Software Engineer, Kent Beck. 

In his book titled Test Driven Development: By Example, he described the TDD approach as follows-

“The original description of TDD was in an ancient book about programming. It said you take the input tape, manually type in the output tape you expect, then program until the actual output tape matches the expected output. After I’d written the first xUnit framework in Smalltalk I remembered reading this and tried it out. That was the origin of TDD for me. When describing TDD to older programmers, I often hear, “Of course. How else could you program?” Therefore I refer to my role as “rediscovering” TDD.”

There are three stages to the Test Driven Development process that includes-

  1. First, a unit test is written that fails due to code absence.
  2. The second step is to write a code after which the test can be passed.
  3. The third step known as Refactoring involves checking the code structure and improvement without modifying its external pattern. The outcome of refactoring is obtaining a perfectly written code.

The developers repeat this development procedure for every single functionality thereby obtaining full test code coverage. Test-driven development offers excellent design and easy maintenance in the future. 

What are the Advantages of Test Driven Development?

Test-driven development is beneficial for a business in numerous ways as given below-

  1. Early bug detection: With Test Driven Development, bugs get detected at the early stages of the development process. Since tests are written before the final code, any errors or bugs are identified and fixed immediately.
  2. Improved code quality: Test Driven Development improves code quality by forcing the developers to write code that is more modular, testable, and easier to maintain. That is why code is written in small, incremental steps to pass the tests.
  3. Better collaboration: Test Driven Development promotes better collaboration between developers and testers. Developers can work with testers to ensure tests are comprehensive and efficient.
  4. Quick feedback: Test Driven Development provides instant feedback on the functionality of a code. Developers can immediately see whether their code is passing the tests or not. It allows them to identify and fix any issues.
  5. More reliable code: Test Driven Development leads to a more reliable code since the tests act as a safety net for the code. Any changes or updates in the code are verified to ensure that they do not break the existing functionality.
  6. Reduced development time: While it may seem that writing tests before writing code would take longer, Test Driven Development reduces development time in the long run. That is how it helps catch errors early on and ensures that code is modular and easier to maintain, which reduces the time needed for future development and maintenance.

Final Thoughts

Test Driven Development is a powerful technique that can help improve the quality, reliability, and maintainability of software while reducing development time and costs.