Hi everyone, I'm just now really starting to look into Agile Development, and so I'm trying to gauge what the Rails community's preference is in regards to using RSpec versus the built-in Test::Unit. I haven't really delved much into testing in the past, I'm sad to say, but I understand why it's beneficial to writing maintainable code and I wish to start in order to become a better developer.
I am starting a new project for a potential business opportunity, and I would really like to use more agile techniques when designing it to A) Improve the quality of the code, and B) Improve my own skills since by and large my experience has been of the "Just hack together something that works" variety (not by choice, of course).
The biggest hurdle I seem to be facing is that I never seem to know what to test for. I've read a little about Test-Driven Development in the past, but when I try to do it I always think that I'm testing things which don't matter; the blogs and articles I've read seem to give both sides of the coin in regards to this - I've seen some say that it's bad to test the built-in functionality of Rails (because those would have their own tests anyway and if something like ActiveRecord, for example, doesn't work the right way internally then something is wrong with Rails itself, and not your code). I've also seen a lot of examples that DO test the built-in functionality, although that might be because they are tutorials.
In any event, I recently learned about RSpec (actually it was from reading the book "The Rails Way", which suggests to use RSpec instead of Test::Unit), and while Behavior-Driven Development seems a little easier to grasp due to the English-like syntax, it brings a whole new problem: Half the time I'm not sure at first what the behavior should be to begin with - what I mean is that I know in my head what I want to be able to do, but I have a hard time fleshing it out into a spec. The BDD style also seems to be heavily in favor of mocking and stubbing as opposed to Test::Unit which has a test database, which I've heard about but never done so is a little confusing as well. It doesn't "feel" like I'm really testing things, since most examples I've seen will stub out the find methods to return predefined values... so how do you know that it's returning what you need? I know that you can use fixtures with RSpec, but I've heard that this is basically tacked on instead of assumed like with the built-in stuff.
As a general rule I try to follow the best practices of the community, so I can learn from more advanced developers and also have a comparable skillset for the future. In this case, however, I'm not really sure which path to take.
Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am still sort of learning how Rails works... coming from a .NET background, the conventions are a little confusing at first and seem a little restrictive, but overall I am enjoying it.