Test Driven Development with GoLand

Posted on by Florin Pățan

Test-Driven Development, or TDD as it is commonly referred to, is the development process in which tests are written first, then the code to support them is created, and, when every test passes, code is refactored.

Let’s have a look at how the unique features of GoLand allow us to be proficient with this workflow.

The general TDD workflow looks like this:

Write tests

Let’s start by writing some tests by navigating to any test file, e.g. tdd_test.go

To generate the tests, we can use the Generate feature (Alt+Insert on Windows/Linux or Cmd+N on macOS).

TDD in GoLand - 01 - generate menu

Here, we can choose the type of test we want to create – the classic type of test:

TDD in GoLand - 02 - Create Regular Test

… or a test using the table-testing approach:

TDD in GoLand - 03 - Generate Table Test

Moving forward, I’ll use the table-testing approach, as it makes it easy to add test cases and keeps my code nice and tidy.

Once our test cases are added, our code should look like this:

TDD in GoLand - 04 - Test cases

Run tests to see that they fail

Using the Run context configuration (Ctrl+Shift+F10 on Windows/Linux or Ctrl+Shift+R on macOS) will run our tests.

TDD in GoLand - 05 - Run tests without code

Normally, tests should fail now, but we are not making any assertion that can fail, so, the Go tool will report this as a pass.

As such, let’s move to the next step, generate some code and see the results.

Write the code and make it pass the tests

Given we don’t execute anything in the tests yet, let’s add the basic code in place.

TDD in GoLand - 06 - Add code that fails

Many people like running tests automatically on changes, especially when doing TDD, so let’s enable that option in the IDE as well.

TDD in GoLand - 07 - Toggle automatic running of tests

The next step is to implement our code and see how it makes our tests fail:

TDD in GoLand - 08 - Add good code and make tests pass

Refactor the code

With the code in place and working, it’s time to move it to a non-test file and clean it up a bit. This is where the IDE’s refactorings such as Move, Rename, and others come into place.

First, let’s move the code to a different file:

TDD in GoLand - 09 - Move code to non-test file

Then, let’s do a bit of renaming and cleanup:

TDD in GoLand - 10 - Refactoring and code cleanup

Throughout these refactorings, we can see that the tests still pass, which hopefully increases our trust in the automated refactorings that the IDE performs on our behalf.

This concludes our short article on how to use GoLand for TDD in Go, and beyond. Please share your feedback in the comments section below, in our issue tracker, or tweet us at @GoLandIDE.

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4 Responses to Test Driven Development with GoLand

  1. Martins, F. says:

    March 16, 2020

    I’d like to say I always love when Florin Pățan write tutorials. Always great. Thanks!

    • Florin Pățan says:

      March 17, 2020

      Hi Martins,

      Thank you very much for your feedback and kind words.
      Please let me know if there’s any topic in particular that I should write about and would be interesting for you/someone you know.

      Kind regards,

  2. sara says:

    April 22, 2020

    Can you please write about doing TDD in GoLand in a containerized app (assuming this is supported in GoLand)?

    • Florin Pățan says:

      May 6, 2020

      Hi Sara,

      I’d be happy to do it.
      Can you please describe more about the expectation of how this should work? I’ll see if I can do exactly that workflow, or, if not, provide something that helps out.

      Thank you for your suggestion!


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