This is not ideal:
Ran 84 tests in 370.741s
My tests take so long for two reasons. First of all, most of them use twill to simulate a browser walking through a version of the web app running on localhost. Second, my test code reads like a novel. Here’s an example, slightly embellished to make a point:
setup: connect to the database and find or create a hospital and an employee named “Nurse Ratched.” Find or create a bunch of open shifts in the emergency department. Find or create another nurse named Lunchlady Doris*.
test: Nurse Ratched wants to see what shifts are available to be picked up. So she logs into the app. Then she navigates to the “open shifts” screen, and then filters down to shifts in the emergency department over the next seven days. Then she wants to sign up for the shift starting at midnight on Saturday night. So, she clicks the “sign up” icon. The system verifies that this shift + her already-scheduled hours won’t push her into overtime, and she has no other flags on her account, so she is automatically scheduled.
Then the system sends her a confirmation message, which according to her preferences, is sent to her email address. Then the system queues an SMS message to be delivered an hour before the shift starts in order to remind her (also according to her preferences).
Finally, the test verifies that the shift is now not listed as available by simulating Lunchlady Doris logging in and checking that same “open shifts” screen.
If everything checks out, print a dot, and move on to the next chapter.
teardown: Unassign Nurse Ratched from the shift she picked up.
I think twill in itself is fine. Marching through a series of pages is problematic. I do this to set up conditions for testing later on. As a side benefit, I verify everything checks out along the way.
On the plus side, I’m confident that the integration of all these components do in fact play nice together. I don’t think it’s safe to abandon end-to-end testing like this, but I would like not to depend it every time I want to make some slight change to a component. It would be nice to run these right before a commit, but only run some super-fast tests after each save.