Code quality is a weak spot in nearly every software project. This is especially true for legacy projects. What once was elegant, over time became rougher and finally incomprehensible.
Monitoring and fixing code quality issues is something that has been proven to increase the quality of the application and decrease the delivery time to stakeholders.
There are a lot of developers and managers who think that writing unit tests is just extra work. Suggesting that we should write more unit tests seems to receive ill responses. I think there are many people out there who still don’t understand the purpose of unit testing.
This kind of thinking is probably the result of following kind of experiences:
Writing unit tests is really hard and time consuming. Even small changes in requirements keep breaking the unit tests. Unit tests are not finding any real bugs. It is not that writing unit tests is somehow fundamentally laborious. These kind of experiences are symptoms of something else.
Let’s assume we have decided to increase the stability of our software. So we decide to write tests for our code. The problem is that the customer is requesting new features and deadlines are approaching.
The most common reason for writing null checks is that you run into a null pointer exception. The second most common reason is that you happened to think about it at some certain case.
The problem is that you are not probably handling null in every single method call. This means that there are potential bugs lurking everywhere.
Null pointer exceptions are bad. Would it not be better if you did not have to check for nulls at all?