The Great Test Framework Dance-off

Location: Portland Ballroom 252 Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 14 ratings)

Survey of Rails test frameworks

  • descriptions of major players: test/unit, test/spec, rspec, simply_bdd, shoulda, etc.

Evaluate frameworks on a number of scales

  • readability, transparency, compactness, ease of refactoring, etc., etc.
  • support for testing views, helpers, routes, associations, validations and other Rails-specific features
  • mocking/stubbing support
  • fixtures and other test data creation approaches
  • pitfalls and idiosyncrasies


  • one modest Rails app, equivalent tests written in 2 or 3 frameworks
  • goal is to show best use of each framework, tests may look similar or different depending on features and idioms
Photo of Josh Susser

Josh Susser

Pivotal Labs

Josh Susser is a full-time Rails developer, a senior engineer at Pivotal Labs in San Francisco, and a frequent contributor to the Ruby on Rails open source project. If you’ve ever built a model that used a self-referential has_many :through association, you’ve probably read his blog.

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