Day: 28 November 2011

100% code coverage, Hibernate Validator and Design by Contract

Code coverage in unit testing was one of the first things I learned in my software engineering career. The company I worked at taught me that you should have 100% coverage as a goal, but achieving it does not mean there are no bugs in the system. At that time, I worked at a company whose big thing was that they delivered very reliable billing software to telecomms operators. We used to invest as much time writing unit tests as we did writing the code. If you included unit tests, integration tests, system tests and acceptance tests, more time was spent testing than designing and implementing the code which ran in production. It was impressive and I have never worked with or for a company with that kind of model since, although I am sure there are many companies which operate like that. The other day I was thinking back to those days and reading up about unit testing to refresh myself in preparation for a unit testing course I'm attending soon (don't want the instructor to know more than me!) and I started to wonder about what kind of code could be fully covered during unit testing, but which could still contain a bug. While I learned that 100% coverage should be the goal, in over 10 years I have never worked on a project which achieved that. So I have never surprised to find a bug in code which I thought was "fully" tested. It's fun write whacky…

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