Why you need automated tests
Although PHPUnit, the standard unit testing framework for PHP, has existed since 2006, automated tests are still not used in all PHP projects today. A lot of potential is wasted here because automated tests have many benefits, such as the following:
- Speed and reliability: Imagine you need to execute the same testing steps over and over. Soon enough, you would make mistakes, or just skip the tests at some point. Automated tests, however, do the boring work for you in a much faster and more reliable way—and they do not complain.
- Documentation: With automated tests, you can indirectly document the functionality of code through assertions, which explain what the code is expected to do. Compared to comments or articles in a wiki, you will immediately be notified by the failing tests when something has changed significantly. We will discuss this topic again in Chapter 13, Creating Effective Documentation, when we talk about creating effective...