Proposed iOS Testing Pyramid

The Original Testing Pyramid

Before I go into my proposed iOS testing pyramid, I know you’ve heard me mention Martin Fowler’s test pyramid before. In case you weren’t reading, or don’t remember, here it is:

iOS Testing Pyramid

Fowler advocates for three levels of testing: unit, service, and UI. If you’d like the full description, you can read about it here.

Proposed Revision

I disagree with this pyramid for iOS apps. I think we can do better. Here’s my **proposed revised iOS testing pyramid **:

iOS Testing Pyramid

The changes include:

  • Unit Tests Remain – If you don’t write any other automated tests, please write unit tests. In the least, unit tests open the door for things like test driven development and refactoring.
  • UI Tests Remain – With the vast variety of device sizes and OS versions, UI tests’ value can multiply with the more devices and OS’s you run them on.
  • No Service Layer – I think with most iOS apps, there’s no need for the Service layer. I think a comprehensive suite of unit tests will take care of anything that the service layer would have otherwise taken care of.
  • Add Snapshot Testing – Snapshot testing can really help “lock in” your user interface to ensure it looks pixel perfect and preventing any future code changes from introducing slop.
  • Add Manual Testing – There are simply bugs that no amount of automated testing will find. There was one bug we came across where a hidden `UIView` was covering a button in a very specific edge case such that the button was not tappable. This was found by a human during manual QA. It never would have been found by automated tests alone. TestFlight makes this so easy these days, don’t skimp on it.

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