http://www.oopsla.org/2006/2006/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=140&Itemid=372

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Helping Students Appreciate Test-Driven Development (TDD)

Helping Students Appreciate Test-Driven Development (TDD)

Testing is an important part of the software development cycle that should be covered throughout the computer science curriculum. However, for students to truly learn the value of testing, they need to benefit from writing test cases for their own software. We report on our initial experiences teaching students to write test cases and evaluating student-written test suites, with an emphasis on our observation that, without proper incentive to write test cases early, many students will complete the programming assignment first and then add the build of their test cases aferwards. Based on these experiences, we propose new mechanisms to provide better incentives for students to write their test cases early. We also report on some of the limitations of code coverage as a tool for evaluating test suites, and finally conclude with a survey of related work on introducing testing into the undergraduate curriculum.

Jaime Spacco, University of Maryland
William Pugh, University of Maryland

 
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