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How to Unit Test using Visual Studio for Mac (it's easy!)

Last month at the AkronCodeClub they selected the magic square kata, which was a new one for me. Basically, you arrange 9 unique numbers in a 3x3 grid such that they add up to the same number horizontally, vertically and diagonally. I paired up with someone else who knew C#, so it was a good opportunity to try doing the kata in Visual Studio for Mac!

Although I've kicked the tires on VS4Mac a bit, one of the things I hadn't tried testing out was, well.. testing!

Method 1: An NUnit Library Project

The easiest method is to just create a new "NUnit Library Project". The VS4Mac team actually added a project type that includes the NUnit package and a test file out of the box. How convenient is that??

Step 1: Create a new project

Go to: File / New Solution / Other / .NET / NUnit Library Project

Step 2: Create a class and some tests

Like I said, there's already a "Test.cs" file ready to go, with the proper NUnit attributes and everything. Go ahead and create a regular class and add a couple tests against it.

Step 3: Run the tests

If you can't see the "Unit Test" pane (or pad as they call it on the Mac), open it now: View / Pads / Unit Tests

You may need to click the build button (black triangle in upper-left) to see your new tests. Or just click the "Run All" button in the Unit Tests pad.

Now change the logic so the tests fail (if they didn't already) and you can see the failure results in the "Test Results" pad at the bottom. If you don't see that pad, open it now: View / Pads / Test Results

That's it! If you're using VS4Mac for TDD during a code kata, it doesn't get much easier than that. :)

Method 2: Add NUnit to an Existing Project

But what if you already have a project and now you want to add tests to it? Let's start by creating a Library project to act as the "existing project": File / New Solution / Other / .NET / Library

You should have a blank screen, along with the "Solution" pad on the side of the screen. If you don't see that pad, go to: View / Pads / Solution

Step 1: Create a Test File

Right-click your project and choose Add / New File. Select General / Empty Class and name it "MagicSquareTests.cs". I also repurposed the default "MyClass.cs" as my MagicSquare class. You should end up with something like this:

Step 2: Add the NUnit Package via NuGet

Right-click on Packages in the Solution pad and choose "Add Packages". All you need is NUnit - don't bother with the NUnit Console Runner.

You should see NUnit under the Packages folder.

Step 3: Create a Few Tests

Add some new tests to run against whatever logic your old project has. In my case, I added a single function for the magic square kata, and wrote a couple tests against it that I was sure would fail.

The test runner tells you what failed and where.

Step 4: Run / Observe / Fix / Repeat!

Try adding enough code to get your tests to pass, and run again.

More Reading

If you'd like, you can read more about what I've discovered... or just download Visual Studio for Mac and try it out yourself!


Grant Winney

Grant Winney

I write when I've got something to share - a personal project, a solution to a difficult problem, or just an idea. We learn by doing and sharing. We've all got something to contribute.

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