The Grumpy Programmer's Guide To Testing PHP Applications
The Grumpy Programmer's Guide To Testing PHP Applications
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The Grumpy Programmer's Guide To Testing PHP Applications

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Last updated on 2019-10-04

About the Book

(Expected date of publication is late-March 2020)

I’ve been trying to help people test their PHP code for a very long time, probably before some of you reading this even got started in programming. PHPUnit didn’t exist, the most commonly-used version of PHP was 5.0, and social media wasn’t a thing. GMail had just started being used. My first search engine was Altavista. Yes, I learned to test uphill, both ways, in the snow.

I feel that testing, as a concept, is hard to explain to beginning programmers: “we are going to write code that is going to make sure your other code works as expected”. The assumption that underlies all this is that you already understand how to write computer programs in your chosen language! This makes it very difficult to teach to beginner or inexperienced programmers. When you combine this with how PHP does not force any particular structure on you, you have an environment where only the folks who are really motivated end up learning about testing.

The Grumpy Programmer's Guide To Testing PHP Applications is my way to try and provide some help for developers who are looking to become more test-centric and reap the benefits of automated testing and related tooling like static analysis and automation. I believe that by learning the skills (both technical and core) surrounding testing you will be able to write tests using almost any testing framework and almost any PHP application.

The book combines all the material from my previous books, adds new material, and revisits some old topics where my experiences have changed my thoughts. I break the vast topic of testing into smaller chunks, along with providing lots of examples and explanations of how I approach testing applications. Some of the things I cover are:

  • Test-Driven development
  • Strategies for Test-After practices
  • Test refactoring strategies
  • How PHPUnit itself works
  • Complementary tools and approaches like static analysis and mutation testing
  • Learning the core skills you need to get other people testing their code

The Grumpy Programmer's Guide To Testing PHP Applications is designed to be the book you refer to over and over again to not only learn how to test your PHP applications but to also remind yourself about techniques and tools that lead to successful outcomes. All I've ever wanted to do is get more people testing their code so we can concentrate on solving problems instead of constantly fixing bugs that we might've caught earlier.

About the Author

Chris Hartjes
Chris Hartjes

Chris Hartjes has been building and testing web applications of all shapes and sizes since 1998, with a focus on best practices and how to use testing as an effective development tool.

By day he works for Mozilla testing services that the Firefox web browser talks to while by night he works on building his online info-product empire through

He lives in the snowy wilds of Lucan, Ontario, Canada,

Table of Contents

    • How Do We Install PHPUnit?
    • What Is PHPUnit?
    • The PHPUnit Test Runner
    • PHPUnit Test Cases
  • Arrange-Act-Assert
    • Helper methods
    • Arrange-Act-Assert
    • Continuing The Pattern
  • Building a Testing Culture
    • Primary Goal
    • Tests as First Class Components
    • Commitment to Peer Review
    • Consistency in Development Environments
    • Trust
  • It’s About People
    • Like Kids on a Playground
    • Lack of Good Docs
    • Convincing People About Time
    • Cowboys Above Me
  • Bootstrapping
  • Care and Feeding for Your Test Doubles
    • Why Do We Need Doubles?
    • Identifying Dependencies
  • Data Providers
    • Why You Should Use Data Providers
    • Look At All Those Tests
    • Creating Data Providers
    • More Complex Examples
    • Data Provider Tricks
  • Metatesting
    • Mature Testing Tools Are Available
    • Open Source Drives Acceptance
    • Proof Exists to Back the Promises
    • Testing Moves Bug Fixing to a Cheaper Part of The Cycle
    • Easy-to-use Build Systems Encourage Continuous Deployment
    • There Are Awesome Complementary Tools
  • Monkey Patching
    • What Is Monkey Patching?
    • What Problem Is Monkey Patching Solving in Testing?
    • What Scenarios Might Monkey Patching Be Good For?
    • Enough Talking, Show Me Some Examples
    • New Test Style
    • Double Patching for Great Success
    • Monkey Patching as a Precision Tool
  • Testing API’s
    • Testing Talking To The API Itself
    • Wrapping Your API Calls
  • Testing Exceptions
    • Testing Using Annotations
    • Testing Using setExpectedException
    • Testing Using try-catch
  • Wrapping Is Not Just for Presents
    • Wrappers from up High
  • No Tests? No Problem!
    • How Did We End Up Without Any Tests?
    • Bug Fixes Need Proof
    • New Features Require Proof
    • Test Suites Are Not Bulletproof
  • “Nobody Is running the tests!”
    • Time Pressure
    • Test Are Too Slow
    • Monolithic Bootstrapping
    • Shared Testing Environments
  • Testing Styles
    • The London School
    • The Chicago School
    • What About You?
  • “You’re Not Getting Paid to Test!”
    • Testing Is Part of the Job
    • Lost Opportunity Costs

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