Rails 4 Test Prescriptions

Your Ruby on Rails application is sick. Deadlines are looming, but every time you make the slightest change to the code, something else breaks. Nobody remembers what that tricky piece of code was supposed to do, and nobody can tell what it actually does. Plus, it has bugs. You need test-driven development, a process for improving the design, maintainability, and long-term viability of software. Table XI's Senior Developer & Agile Coach, Noel Rappin, can help.

Noel’s most recent book, Rails 4 Test Prescriptions: Build a Healthy Codebase, hit the Pragmatic Bookshelf this week. The book starts with the most basic testing features that are part of core Ruby on Rails. Once you’ve integrated testing features into your coding practice, you’ll learn how to use popular third-party testing tools such as RSpec (it’s the first to cover RSpec 3), Capybara, Cucumber, and factory_girl. You’ll test the component parts of a Rails application, including the back-end model logic and the front-end display logic. Using Rails examples, you’ll learn how to use testing to enable your code to respond better to future change. Plus, you’ll see how to handle real-world testing situations.

Noel is not new to the publishing world: He’s authored other technical books including Rails Test Prescriptions, Master Space and Time With JavaScript, and Trust-Driven Development. I recently sat down with Noel and asked him what inspired him to write again. Here’s what he told me:

I wrote this book because the previous tools were out of date. The Rails community has learned a lot about what works in testing and has had a lot of interesting debate on this subject. Things change, there are new tools and there are new ideas about the best ways to be effective on large projects. In general the Rails community is still coming to grips with the fact that there are legacy large Rails projects. When I started writing the original book there were no 5- year-old Rails codebases, integrating with external web services was rarer, and integration with client side JavaScript was completely different. The book addresses all these changes.

You can learn more about the Rails 4 Test Prescriptions and pick up your copy here.

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