Tool Support for Change-Centric Test Development: How Do Developers Know They Have Done a Good Job?

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Executive Summary

Developers use unit testing to improve the quality of software systems. Current development tools for unit testing help to automate test execution, to report results, and to generate test stubs. However, they offer no aid for designing tests aimed specifically at exercising the effects of changes to a program. This paper describes a method for applying change impact analysis to test-driven development, to provide developers with quantitative feedback of test coverage of their changes. This information can be used to meet defined coverage goals or to help generate new tests to reveal unanticipated change effects. The approach, called change-centric test development, is tool supported; a typical scenario shows the effectiveness of the authors' tool JUNITMX in a practical feasibility study.

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