Rod Hilton's Reviews > xUnit Test Patterns: Refactoring Test Code

xUnit Test Patterns by Gerard Meszaros
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Aug 10, 12

bookshelves: programming, have-softcopy, favorites
Read from July 28 to August 10, 2012

I know a lot about unit testing. I'm a big TDD advocate, and I've learned an awful lot of lessons about effective unit testing over the years. I could easily give a series of talks on the topic of unit testing.

And yet, I don't think there's a single thing I know about unit testing that isn't covered in xUnit Test Patterns. This book is the bible of unit testing, unbelievably thorough. Nearly every aspect of unit testing is covered (at least that I know about), categorized into patterns and organized into a very, very good book.

The book is huge, clocking it at nearly a thousand pages. The title also isn't terribly accurate, it's really more about the Patterns than the refactoring. But those two issues aside, this book will take you from unit testing novice to unit testing ninja easily.

As with most Patterns books, if you are already well-versed in the topic, you won't learn all that much new except for consistent terminology to apply to your knowledge. I knew most of what was in the book already, and found myself reading the Narratives section and the Test Smells section, but largely skimming the details of the Patterns section itself, most of which is spelled out pretty well in Narratives anyway. Mostly, I learned a lot of new terms that will help me communicate effectively with other developers, and I picked up a bit of new material (mostly from the Test Smells section).

xUnit Test Patterns is an excellent but long (and slightly dry) book that I highly recommend for anyone who has some familiarity with unit testing, but doesn't consider him or herself a pro.
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