New Evans Data Survey Says Unit Testing Automation is a Growing Priority for Global Development Teams

JUnit, Industry's Most Widely Used Open-Source Testing Framework, Celebrates 10th Anniversary, Continues to Transform Application Development and Quality of Software

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., October 4, 2007 - Agitar Software, the leader in unit testing solutions, today announced results from a new Evans Data survey that found unit testing as a growing development practice with significant additional market opportunity within financial services, telecommunications, retail, manufacturing and IT consulting in North America. The survey from the Santa Cruz, Calif.-based software development market research firm explored manual and automated testing practices.

According to the study, nearly three quarters of Java developers worldwide use the open-source JUnit testing framework, which today celebrates its 10th anniversary, to expedite and simplify testing to improve software quality. Furthermore, with global development teams trying to boost time-to-market, quality, and flexibility, the survey also shows growing use and demand for tools that automate and further simplify unit testing.

With unit testing, software developers create tests for their code as they develop it. This allows development teams to inspect the building blocks of a system during each phase of development, which produces more cost-effective, flexible, and high-quality software.

Downloaded more than two million times, and included as a plug-in in all major IDEs, the first version of JUnit was co-created by Kent Beck (an Agitar Fellow since July 2004) and Erich Gamma ten years ago. Since then, it has helped developers prevent and catch countless numbers of software defects. "Never in the field of software development was so much owed by so many to so few lines of code," said Martin Fowler, a leading software development expert.

"The adoption of JUnit has far exceeded my early expectations," said Beck. "However, far too much programming is still done without the benefit of tests. I believe that the biggest barrier to greater adoption is culture. For decades, programmers have ceded responsibility for quality to someone else. Programmers need to turn this around and insist that their code work before asking anyone else to invest time in it. There is also the need for better design skills. You can only write better tests if you can design better software (more modular, less coupling, more cohesion). To get better tests, you need more skilled programmers making good large- and small-scale design decisions. Finally, the tools could still be even simpler and provide higher value. That was the goal behind the latest release of JUnit 4.4."

Industry research shows that the cost to fix a defect jumps by an order of magnitude at each phase of the software lifecycle. That means fixing a bug in Quality Assurance (QA) can cost 100 times more than fixing it during development. This inefficient workflow makes software late and expensive, whereas unit testing helps ensure code works correctly early on and improves the agility, quality, and costs of application software development.

"JUnit has had a remarkable impact on the way software is developed and tested. It literally started a developer testing revolution," said Agitar CTO and Co-Founder Alberto Savoia. "But we have only scratched the surface of what’s possible when testing is moved forward in the development process. Ten years ago, holding developers responsible for unit testing their own code would have been a pipe dream in most organizations. Today – mostly thanks to JUnit – unit testing is considered a best practice."

Survey Highlights:

The new Evans Data research shows that 87 percent of Java developers are using unit-testing tools and 71 percent are using JUnit.

The survey also finds:

  • Unit testing manually can be difficult and time consuming. Today, only 19 percent of Java developers have adopted unit testing automation tools.
  • Java users most likely to use testing tools are in financial services, telecommunications, retail, manufacturing, and IT consulting.
  • Unit testing is used most often in North America and least in EMEA. It’s also used proportionately more in enterprises with more than 1,000 employees.

"Our research substantiates that most global development teams value unit testing and understand that it can help build better software," said John F. Andrews, President and CEO of Evans Data Corporation. "However, manual testing often requires specific skills and extra time, which developers may lack. At the same time, complex code, legacy code, and the growth of web services further complicate Java application development. This has created a growing market opportunity for tools that automate and simplify testing."

"Evans Data research, and our own experience, shows that for unit testing to reach its full potential, developers need additional tools and automation to help them deal with the more difficult and time-consuming aspects of test generation, execution, and management," said Savoia. "That’s the reason why we started Agitar Software – to help continue what Kent Beck and Erich Gamma started with JUnit."

AgitarOne is the only comprehensive, fully integrated, unit-testing solution available on the market. AgitarOne not only automates testing with JUnit, it handles legacy code, shortens QA cycles, and provides continuous visibility into code quality.


About Agitar Technologies, Inc.
Using unprecedented JUnit Generation and software agitation techniques, and Java functional testing coverage capabilities, Agitar Technologies enables the enterprise to save time and money, releasing Java applications faster with fewer bugs. The “AgitarOne” product family enables software teams to create, use, and manage the extensive set of unit tests needed to be truly agile. Customers have cut legacy maintenance efforts by 50%, released new applications 30% faster with fewer bugs, and cut the cost of finding and fixing post-release bugs by 90%. Agitar Technologies is a privately-held company headquartered in Cranston, RI. For more information visit