When you write unit tests, the minimal requirement before being able to try them out is that they compile. In Smalltalk, this means things like syntactic well-formedness, and perhaps the presence of global variables (i.e. classes) that you reference in the test method body.
It’s very quick and comfortable in Smalltalk to develop supported by unit testing: to write tests you know will fail, and refine away the failures until your test suite passes.
In Java, it’s much less comfortable, because besides the basic requirement of syntactic well-formedness, all the methods, classes, interfaces, and packages that your code relies on, directly or indirectly, must be present in the system before you can even try a run of the test suite! This makes for a less incremental style of development.
It would be very interesting to see a unit-testing framework for Java that simply treated a non-compiling test as a normal test failure, rather than a complete show-stopper, and which let you continue with the other tests in the suite. At the end of a run, it would include the non-compiling tests in the final reports just the same way as any other unexpectedly-failing test is reported.