Gartner Research

Building Continuous Delivery Confidence With Test-Driven Development

Published: 03 March 2017

ID: G00319693

Analyst(s): Bill Holz


Deliver working software frequently is a key agile principle. TDD enables technical professionals working in application development to improve the software design and prove that the software is really working — not only today but also six months from now.

Table Of Contents


  • Is TDD Dead or Just Misunderstood?
    • Focus on the Code, Not the Tests
    • Writing Tests First Is Better
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses


  • Build Competence in Unit Testing and Refactoring
  • Set Standards for Unit Tests and Code Coverage
  • Utilize Simple Design Techniques
  • Use TDD When Fixing Defects
  • Apply TDD When Enhancing Legacy Applications
  • Maintain Unit Tests Just as You Would Application Code
  • Implement Testing Frameworks
  • Balance Refactoring Effort
  • Measure for Success and Adjust

The Details

  • Continuous Delivery Requires Continuous Feedback
    • Scrum Isn't Enough
    • XP Practices Are Required
  • Components of TDD
    • Simple Design
    • Unit Testing
    • Refactoring

Gartner Recommended Reading

©2021 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner’s prior written permission. It consists of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization, which should not be construed as statements of fact. While the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner research may address legal and financial issues, Gartner does not provide legal or investment advice and its research should not be construed or used as such. Your access and use of this publication are governed by Gartner’s Usage Policy. Gartner prides itself on its reputation for independence and objectivity. Its research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from any third party. For further information, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity.

Already have a Gartner Account?

Become a client

Learn how to access this content as a Gartner client.