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From Coding Horror
Unit tests don't guarantee correct functioning of a program. I think it's unreasonable to expect them to. But writing unit tests does guarantee that the developer has considered, however briefly, these truly difficult testing questions. And that's clearly a step in the right direction.
It may be a step in the right direction. Here's the next step: turn those "developer considerations" into functional requirements, and then use those to define "correct functioning". Then you'll have your guarantee. It isn't the unreasonable guarantee you started with, but it's a heck of a lot better than the second gurantee you offered, Jeff.
That's really outside the scope of unit testing; I think we'd need acceptance tests to verify that our software actually met the functional requirements.
I think I threw you by coopting the phrase "functional requirements", which often refers to the client's requirements. I'm not talking about that at all. I'm only saying that your unit tests provide stronger guarantees than simply "the developer has thought about it".
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