Recently, I was approached by Packt to review a book on TDD, particularly RSpec. This one is written by Charles Feduke. While he's not someone I am familiar with, some of the reviewers have familiar names.

Being naturally interested in anything has to do with software development, I feel it is most sensible to give it a try.

A Quick Read

The book title by itself should give you a hint that it's more of a quick read than a definitive guide on Test-Driven Development. The books I have read on TDD and BDD (Behaviour-driven Development) are about four to five times lengthier. Verbosity is not needed when you want to learn something quickly probably for a new job or a new project. You still might find yourself googling a lot after reading those lengthy books anyway.

I could skim through the book in less than an hour but because it's for review, I read it word by word for a much longer time and tried to see if there are any gotchas.

The Good

  1. It started off by explaining about conventions and how to use the "rspec" command with the options like showing the progress.
  2. The author did not fail to explain the "Red-green-refactor" process throughout the book.
  3. The author followed the community-accepted standards of writing better test code. To learn more about that, you can read the open source book called Better Specs
  4. There are practical examples for all chapters.
  5. While it is a quick read, the author did well in explaining the difference between "stubbing" and "mocking". Beginners will initially find this confusing but as you code more, it won't be confusing anymore.

The Bad

  1. Like many books, there is a typographical error. But I like this one because it is funny: "it is important to execute the verify it fails step for new code to ensure you're not a monkey..." I think that error should have been an intentional pun. It's more fun that way so people will remember to follow TDD. I made several mistakes by skipping that process. I should remember that and not think like a "monkey."
  2. There are examples on the first few chapters which I could have written differently. I could have used let instead of defining the variable within the it block for example.

The Ugly

  1. There's nothing ugly about the book. I didn't see an overzealous tone on promoting TDD.
  2. The ugly truth is that you will have to read the documentation to completely understand RSpec features.

Final Notes

Test it, don't guess it.

Enjoy reading this book published recently.


Instant RSpec Test-Driven Development How-to

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Hello! I am Kat. I've been a developer for several years. When I'm not sitting down, reading and working for long hours, I am traveling to some place of interest.
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