It seems that software always contains bugs. No matter how much time and effort is spent building an application, there will be issues. Sometimes this is because of a lack of testing, and sometimes this is because of poor testing, but in any case, the expectation that we will test our code is becoming more prevalent as we depend more and more on computer software. Users expect our software to work.

It seems there is never enough time to properly test software after it is complete. Perhaps your deadlines are too tight, perhaps there aren’t enough resources to devote to comprehensive testing processes, but it really doesn’t matter. We will never have enough resources in our QA and testing teams to do as much testing as we would like. We need to expect this and find ways to raise the quality of our work, given those constraints.

One solution to increasing code coverage and ensuring more testing takes place is to move some of the testing burden into the development process. While this sounds like a bad idea, overburdening developers that already struggle to meet deadlines, I’d note that part of the burden of development is fixing the mistakes they make. Perhaps a bit more testing in the development process will help us release fewer mistakes.

The idea of regular, repeatable, automated unit testing has become quite commonplace in many software development tools and environments, but it hasn’t caught on in database development. There are some frameworks for testing T-SQL, and I’d encourage you to look at our Stairway for TDD as a way to get started or download tSQLt and give it a try.

We can fix mistakes after our software is released, or we can fix them before the software is completed, but we’ll be fixing them either way.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcast

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