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Erlang and Test Driven Development

an image Target Audience : Developers and testers
Prerequisites: Knowledge of basic Erlang (equivalent to Erlang by Example or Erlang Express courses. OTP courses not necessary, but useful).
• Understand the principles behind Test Driven Development,
• Be able to use Erlang's principal testing tools (EUnit, Common Test, QuickCheck),
• Learn about tools to maintain and debug existing Erlang programs
Goal: Learn how to use existing tools of the ecosystem to help develop, debug and maintain Erlang software
Duration: Three days
Registration: 08:30 on 21st March 2011.
Venue: Hilton San Francisco Airport Hotel.
Description: You will learn test frameworks for unit tests, property-based tests and large-scale tests. We will cover Eunit, Common Test, QuickCheck for testing, then Wrangler, Dialyzer and tracing (among others) for maintenance. You will also learn principles of Test-Driven Development which will ultimately allow you to write more reliable and maintainable software.

Course Contents:

  • What is TDD
  • TDD With Eunit
  • Common Test
  • Property-Based Testing
  • Maintenance and Debugging
What is TDD
A brief overview of test-driven development: what are the principles behind it, possible advantages and disadvantages of the practice, terminology and a quick look at case studies of TDD

TDD With Eunit
Exploring EUnit, and the architecture behind it (assertions, test generators, test representations and fixtures); how to use EUnit to test functional code and code with state.

Common Test
A guide on how to use Common Test, from unit tests to large scale testing. This covers unit test, testing with state, test groups and suites, how to configure tests, write specifications and do distributed testing.

Property-Based Testing

Covers the principles behind property-based testing. We use QuickCheck Mini to see how to write property-based tests: generators, properties, symbolic representation of tests, etc. This also briefly covers shrinking strategies to find errors.

Maintenance and Debugging
A review of useful tools when maintaining and debugging Erlang software. This section covers test coverage with the cover tool, Type checking with Dialyzer and TypEr, refactoring with Wrangler and also the the Trace Tool builder for ErlIDE and Exago.


Fred Hebert


Fred Hebert is an Erlang enthusiast based in the unexplored Northern parts of Quebec (relatively speaking). He is so enthusiastic, in fact, that he started writing Learn You Some Erlang for great good! a free online book designed to teach Erlang, functional programming and basic computer science concepts.

He started his career working with backend services for medium to large scale web sites, but php just did not do it. In 2010 Erlang Solutions came to the rescue! He is now working with course development and e-learning while remaining true to web applications, this time, written in Erlang.

Fred's Online Book
Fred's Blog

Twitter: @MononcQc