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Introduction to Test Driven Development (TDD)

IBM via Coursera


Successful developers need to not only build the right software but build it right. To know your software works correctly, you need to test each unit of code. One of the best methods for this unit-level testing is test driven development.

This course provides a detailed overview of test driven development (TDD). First, you’ll learn what automated testing is and why it is essential for building robust applications resilient to failure. You’ll explore the basics of testing, including test cases, testing levels, and the traditional release cycle.

You’ll learn about TDD and its complement, behavior driven development (BDD): TDD tests individual units of code while BDD tests how these units work together.

Then you’ll examine TDD in detail. You’ll explore TDD’s benefits, concepts, and popular tools, and you’ll hone your new testing skills through hands-on labs. You’ll create TDD test cases by writing test assertions and building test fixtures, and you’ll run these test cases by using the Nose testing package. You’ll then practice more advanced TDD methods such as increasing code coverage, generating and using fake data, and testing mock objects.


  • Introduction to Testing
    • This module provides an overview of software testing. You will learn about the importance of testing through an example: the development of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module’s guidance system. You will discover the numerous problems that occur when developers do not test their code. Then you will explore the four levels of testing and find out when each appears in the traditional release cycle. You will learn what test driven and behavior driven development are and why both are essential for effective testing. You will discover the purpose of test cases and witness their value through a demonstration.
  • Introduction to Test Driven Development
    • This module provides an overview of test driven development (TDD). You will learn what TDD is and discover the three basic steps in the TDD workflow, also known as the Red/Green/Refactor workflow. You will find out why TDD is important for DevOps and all automated testing. You will also discover popular testing tools for TDD and closely examine the features of several such tools for Python. This module also covers essential methods for performing TDD. You will explore two ways to run TDD tests: Python’s built-in test runner called unittest and the more feature-rich module called Nose. You will learn what assertions are and how to use them to test code. You will discover why you need to include both happy and sad paths in your test module. You will also find out what test fixtures are and how to use them to establish an appropriate initial state for each test.
  • Advanced Methods for Test Driven Development
    • This module covers advanced methods for TDD. You will learn about test coverage: why it’s important, how to increase it by using test coverage reports, and why you should keep testing even at full test coverage. You will discover the value of testing against fake data and how to use factories to generate this data. You will also explore mocking, a process for mimicking the behavior of real objects, and you will find out the testing situations for which mocking is useful. You will learn how to use two common methods for mocking: patching a function call and mocking entire objects.
  • Final Exam and Course Wrap-Up

Taught by

John Rofrano


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