Most Common Mistakes in Test-Driven Development Practice: Results from an Online Survey with Developers

Mauricio Finavaro Aniche, Marco Aurélio Gerosa
University of São Paulo

Abstract: Test-driven development (TDD) is a software development practice which theoretically leads code to a better quality and to reduce defects. TDD is a simple practice, but developers sometimes make mistakes while applying it. This article presents some of the most common mistakes that programmers do when practicing TDD, identified by an online survey with 218 volunteer programmers. Some mistakes identified were to forget the refactoring step, building complex test scenarios and refactor another piece of code while working on a test are done frequently by around 25% of programmers in general.

The original survey can be found at

All data collected and analysed can be downloaded in OpenOffice Calc format here

The paper can be found here

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