Most web developers come across automated tests in their career. They fancy the idea of writing code to scrutinize a web application and put it to an acid test. As web developers, as business people, we want to know whether the site works for the user, our customers.
Does the site allow the user to complete their tasks? Is the site still functional after new features have been introduced or internals have been refactored? How does the site react to usage errors or system failure? Testing gives answers to these questions.
I believe the benefits of automated testing are easy to grasp. Developers want to sleep well and be confident that their application works correctly. Moreover, testing helps developers to write better software. Software that is more robust, better to understand and easier to maintain.
In stark contrast, I have met only few web developers with a steady testing practice. Only few find it easy, let alone enjoy writing tests. This task is seen as a chore or nuisance.
Often individual developers are blamed for the lack of tests. The claim that developers are just too ignorant or lazy to write tests is simplistic and downright toxic. If testing has an indisputable value, we need to examine why developers avoid it while being convinced of the benefits. Testing should be easy, straight-forward and commonplace.
If you are struggling with writing tests, it is not your fault or deficit. We are all struggling because testing software is inherently complicated and difficult.
First, writing automated tests requires a different mindset than writing the implementation code. Implementing a feature means building a structure – testing means trying to knock it over.
You try to find weaknesses and loopholes in your own work. You think through all possible cases and pester your code with “What if?” questions. What seems frustrating at first sight is an invaluable strategy to improve your code.
Second, testing has a steep learning curve. If testing can be seen as a tool, it is not a like a screwdriver or power drill. Rather, it compares to a tractor or excavator. It takes training to operate these machines. And it takes experience to apply them accurately and safely.
This is meant to encourage you. Getting started with testing is hard, but it gets easier and easier with more practice. The goal of this guide is to empower you to write tests on a daily basis that cover the important features of your Angular application.