I’ve recently watched the PDC 2008 panel Session on the future of unit testing. The feeling I took from this session is that Automated testing is here to stay.
What gave me the indication that this is true is the fact that although the panel tried to focus on unit level testing, the audience tended to shift the discussion into other zones.Most of the audience questions were dealing with more complex scenarios, going beyond the unit level, that they encounter in real life.
For me this gives a good indication that automated unit testing has taken its hold. I’m not sure if my interpretation is not Mistaken, but it seems to me that the available tooling solutions for writing unit tests has matured enough (yes even if you don’t like using mock frameworks) to the point where people are now trying to leverage them into other testing areas.
As the panel mostly agreed, there is still a shortage of good tools for doing integration/User acceptance testing, and if one listened closely enough it looks like at least some progress is being made on those areas.
Another fact, that most of the of the panel agreed upon, is that unit testing is not enough, at then end there’s still a gap between the user requirements level and the unit level that must be bridged by other sort of testing (integration tests/UAT).