How does Refactoring of Automated Tests Differ From Common Software Refactoring?

How does Refactoring of Automated Tests Differ From Common Software Refactoring?
June 23 10:00 2015 Print This Article

Refactoring has become an integral part of creating programs. It helps to streamline the code and makes it understandable. Web site testing, desktop testing and mobile testing prove that refactoring prevents appearance of many defects.

Various tools for refactoring are included in integrated development environments, they allow programmers to automate certain parts of refactoring. Description of some approaches to this activity can be found in books by Kent Beck, Joshua Kerievsky, Martin Fowler and other known programmers, who actively use and improve refactoring methods.

Specialists in automated testing have to apply refactoring for automated tests in order to keep them effective. As a matter of fact, automated tests are a software product meant for testing another software product. But refactoring of the tests differs from refactoring common applications.

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Specific Features of Automated Tests Refactoring:

  • it should be performed very carefully and mustn’t affect the tests behavior;
  • automation is not applied for verifying automated tests;
  • it is wise to evade performing major refactoring of automated tests.

It is important to make sure that the tests work properly after refactoring.

Otherwise, if the tests fail, one cannot tell it happens because there is a defect in the program, or there are errors in the tests. And if the tests pass, it means that the functional testing, regression testing, load testing or other automated tests didn’t notice the defects, or there are no defects in the verified part of the code?

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Nataliia Vasylyna

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