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A static test is a test that evaluates non-running code against rules for known good practices to check for security, structure, or practice issues.
Static code analysis has many key purposes.
- It warns of excessive complexity in the code that will degrade the ability to change it safely.
- Identifies issues that could expose vulnerabilities
- Shows anti-patterns that violate good practices
- Alerts to issues with dependencies that may prevent delivery, create a vulnerability, or even expose the company to lawsuits.
- It catches errors
- When implementing any test, the test should be designed to provide alerts as close to the moment of creation as possible.
- Static analysis, many scans can be run realtime in IDEs. Others during the build or as a pre-commit scan. Others require tooling that can only be used on the CI server. Whatever the test, drive it left.
- Recheck everything on CI while verifying HEAD
Types of static tests
- Linting: This automates catching of common errors in code and the enforcement of best practices
- Formatting: Enforcement of code style rules. It removes subjectivity from code reviews
- Complexity: Are code blocks too deep or too long? Complexity causes defects and simple code is better.
- Type checking: Type checking can be a key validation to prevent hard to identify defects replacing certain classes of tests and logic otherwise required (e.g. unit tests validating internal APIs)
- Security: Checking for known vulnerabilities and coding patterns that provide attack vectors are critical
- Dependency scanning :
- Are your dependencies up to date?
- Has the dependency been hijacked?
- Are there known security issues in this version that require immediate resolution?
- Is it licensed appropriately?
Recommended Best Practices
- IDE plugins to identify problems in realtime
- Pre-commit hooks to prevent committing problems
- Verification during PR and during the CI build on the HEAD to verify that earlier verification happened and was effective.
- Discourage disabling of static tests (e.g. skipping tests, ignoring warnings, ignoring code on coverage evaluation, etc)
- Write custom rules (lint, formatting, etc) for common code review feedback
Tooling recommendations based on Testing Strategy ADR
|Android||SonarQube, Lint, ktLink|
|Java BE||Linter/Formatter: sonar, PMD|
|JS/node BE||Linter: eslint
Last modified October 13, 2022: Corrected broken links (#8) (d324154)