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JudoGeek Blog - TDD with Perl, Episode 1 - Introduction. Lance Wicks
Lance Wicks

JudoGeek Blog

TDD with Perl, Episode 1 - Introduction. 

Welcome to Episode one of my soon to be series of posts on becoming a test driven developer in/with Perl. Before we begin let me explain that this is not going to be a l33t uber-programmer guide; this is for people with some familiarity with writing code, with Perl and want to get better.

This series of posts has been inspired by the scary fact that if you Google PerlCritic this blog is/was the seventh entry. Which tells me that there is a lack of information out there if the small stuff I wrote is ranked so high.

So... Test Driven Development (TDD), what the heck is it?
Test Driven Development or TDD is a increasingly common phrase and idea that you need to get your head around. The concept here is that you write pieces of software that test the actual software you are writing.

The idea is that for every subroutine you write, you write a test (or several tests actually) that proves it works. In the purest methodology you write the test first, then the code. But for someone new to it, this is not realistic. That said, the sooner you start writing tests, the more sense it makes and the easier the process.

So how do you start?
That is what this series of posts is going to cover. The series of posts will (hopefully) help you begin to use TDD and appropriate tools in your development with Perl (and maybe even with other languages).

Some of the tools in you toolkit will be:
* Perlcritic
* Perltidy
* Test::More
* Test::Harness

Basically, here is what we shall be covering.
We shall start with creating a "smoketest" script, and discuss why they rock! How to build one and how it can help you. In our smoke test we will be doing things like testing your code is formatted nicely using Test::PerlTidy, testing that you are follow "Best Practices" with PerlCritic and also some other basic testing. We will also look at how you test components of your own code, etc.

Basic ideas, expressed in a basic way, to help you get started. Once you get started it gets easier and easier and your skills improve and you spend less time fixing silly problems and more on creating new features. Why? because your test suite checks everything and tells you when you have done something silly and tells you early.

So, please stay tuned and wait for the second episode in this series where we'll start building a smoke test and your basic test tool kit.

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