Code Central – A New Way To Collaborate

NCover 4 has tipped the scale in favor of testing transparency.  How many of us can unequivocally say we know which lines of code are tested by automated tests and how much that overlaps with manual testing?  Worse yet, where are the gaps?  Most development teams churn through development cycles repeatedly running automated tests and subsequently at scheduled intervals initiate manual testing… oh that beloved regression cycle!  The shame of it is we have had a difficult time understanding how the two types of testing dovetail to provide a measurable level of confidence in any release.

The beauty of NCover 4 is that all of this coverage data for a given release can be collected and merged to a single picture of the entire testing cycle (figure 1).  One of the somewhat hidden improvements of NCover 4 is the improvement in profiling speed.  This speed translates directly to expanded deployment and profiling in live testing environments whether desktop or server based.  That’s a subject for a coming article, but suffice it to say that manual testing in the wild plus coverage is a reality with NCover 4 Collector and Code Central.

figure 1.


Code Central has a single purpose, to collect coverage data from my entire development team and combine it in one location.  Subsequently Code Central can share that critical data back out to the team and to management who continually ask, “How do you know it’s tested.”  If your management isn’t challenging your team in this way, then start answering the question before it gets asked.  What’s further is that with a bit of discipline and a few collection techniques I can track coverage data in relation to specific testing arenas, I can also decipher where to spend valuable resources (figure 2).

figure 2.

Code Central intentionally creates a convergence of all testing data points.  This convergence provide a single-source answer for the completeness with which any release has been tested.  Even beyond that Code Central keeps enough history for me to trend coverage over multiple releases.  As an agile team we know that testing, especially automated testing, delivers freedom and confidence.  Freedom to rapidly deploy and confidence to be innovative.

It’s well past time development teams and their QA counterparts had the kind of power to understand their testing efforts that NCover 4 provides.  Test it… Track it… Tout it! It’s ok to show off all that hard work.