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Today I read Jon Skeet's blog entry on how to write a good question on During the day I realized that I had a question which I couldn't find an answer for: "What is the most popular .NET unit testing framework?" So I asked on (deleted, 10k+ users only).

Which is the most popular .NET unit testing framework?

I'm trying to decide which unit testing framework I should learn, with the simple goal that it should be the one I would most likely be required to know if I changed jobs.

Please note:

  • I'm not looking for subjective answers nor opinions.
  • I'm not asking which is better to use.
  • I'm hoping to get an answer like "This site says that, in a survey of twenty companies, this framework is most commonly used," or "While looking for a job I noticed that ten companies used this framework, while twenty used the other."
  • I have tried Google-ing this, but haven't had any luck so far. If I were to guess I'd say the answer is going to be MSTest or NUnit.

I explained my reason for wanting this answered.

I explained criteria for the answer: That I didn't want subjective answers (wanted evidence / statistical answers).

I explained what I had previously tried in order to find an answer.

Within about a minute my question had been marked down five times with a comment explaining problems that poll style questions cause.

Since I don't actually want subjective opinions, I didn't think of this as a poll type question... nevertheless, any idea where or how I should ask to get an answer and some positivity?

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marked as duplicate by gnat, CRABOLO, Matthew Haugen, psubsee2003 discussion Jan 18 '15 at 18:15

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

How is "What is the most popular" not a poll question? Lies, damn lies and statistics! – Martijn Pieters Sep 4 '12 at 15:32
I explained in my question I was looking for statistics, not opinions. – Lost Hobbit Sep 4 '12 at 15:33
Is there any link at all? 10k+ users can see the question if you have one. – Martijn Pieters Sep 4 '12 at 15:34
No... I deleted it due to all the negativity. – Lost Hobbit Sep 4 '12 at 15:35
@LostHobbit Deleted questions still exist. – Dave Newton Sep 4 '12 at 15:38
Poof! It's gone:… – Lost Hobbit Sep 4 '12 at 15:39
See, especially the last part where it explains how you can reframe your question to get a better response from the community. – Robert Harvey Sep 4 '12 at 15:47
Deleted posts are still visible to 10K users. – kiamlaluno Sep 4 '12 at 15:47
Oh right... sorry I misunderstood what Martijn was saying about 10k+. Thanks for the link, Robert. – Lost Hobbit Sep 4 '12 at 15:49
A big problem is your question title. It is asking for an opinion, not for statistics. I don't think asking for statistics related to programming is on-topic for SO though. Also, I know it doesn't have any stats but there is a closed question on Programmers about What is the best unit test framework for .NET and why? which you may find useful – Rachel Sep 4 '12 at 16:18
up vote 7 down vote accepted

A question like "What is the most popular .NET unit testing framework?" is never constructive for the following reasons:

  • Nobody knows which is the most popular .NET unit testing framework. To answer that who answers should first ask every developer who is using a test framework, to see which one is used; only after all the developers has replied, that user can answer your question.

  • The answers that you are probably going to get are similar to "I, and my developing team, are using [X]." There could be many answers like that.

  • Even if you would get an idea of what the most popular .NET unit testing framework is, that would be valid for the moment the question is answered. The same answers could change if the same question is asked a year later. This means the question would not be helpful to future readers, if not in the case the question has its answer(s) updated.

  • Knowing what the most popular .NET unit testing framework is doesn't help anybody. It would help knowing why exactly that .NET unit testing framework is being used, and in which context.

  • The question is not about a practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Such a question would ask which .NET unit testing framework you should use in a specific context. This doesn't assure you the question would not be closed as too localized, or not constructive, though.

For these reasons, there isn't a Stack Exchange site where that question can be asked without it being closed.

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I disagree with your fourth point, but thanks for explaining. – Lost Hobbit Sep 4 '12 at 15:54
Something can be popular, but that doesn't mean I have to use it; I will use it if it useful for my use case. For example, Drupal could be the most popular CMS, but that doesn't mean I have to use it; if all I want to do is creating a blog, WordPress is probably all I need. – kiamlaluno Sep 5 '12 at 12:33
Would you say then that employers care that you have experience in unit testing, but don't care what platform you have experience in? – Lost Hobbit Sep 7 '12 at 9:37

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