Mock me to my (inter)face

I learned an interesting, although in retrospect somewhat obvious, technique from Michael Feathers’s great book, Working Effectively With Legacy Code.

Suppose you have a class that can’t be unit-tested in any automated way because it has side effects or requires user input. Or, in the case of my application, it drives hardware that I don’t actually have readily at hand. NUnit and the like provide input to methods and test the resulting output. How can you run tests on something where the “output” is the motion of a sensor arm, or the “input” is a stream of weather data?

The short answer is that you really can’t, but that shouldn’t stop you from setting up unit tests.

More →