Bulletproof Test Environments

Achieve Extraordinary Results with Test Automation

In order to have a reliable test automation results you need to take full control of your test environment. Describe it in code, start on the fly, dedicated only to your automated tests.

We all want fast, stable and reliable automated tests. Usually, we can’t reach those goals because of something outside of our control — our test environments. Or so we think. Test environments are manually cobbled together, a long, long time ago by someone not even working at the company anymore. They are someone else’s problem. They are a house of cards, requiring slow, manual intervention. As it is so hard to create new environment from scratch, they are shared by teams to run both automated and exploratory tests. In order to get stable automated tests results in such environments we have to rely on crutches: add complex retry logic, increase timeouts, quarantine flaky tests.

With the ubiquity of containerization there is a better way. We take control of our test environment. We use code to describe it. We create it on the fly when we need it. It is in the same pristine, clean state each time it starts. It is dedicated only to our automated tests. It has a lifespan as long as our tests are running, and then it is destroyed. It is isolated from the outside world, making it very fast and reliable. In fact, in such an environment at Falcon, we achieved 120x times faster automated tests while keeping the flakiness as low as 0,13%. These environments can also run on your laptop for easy debugging of a micro-services application.

In this talk you’ll learn why it is important to start owning your test environment if you want to achieve unparalleled tests reliability. How to start simple with containers and then gradually make the setup more complex by adding different services. What tools are most useful in simulating services that your team does not own (Authentication, Permissions) as well as any external API dependencies (Cloud Storage, Social Networks). You will learn how to multiply the value of your automated tests by probing deeper in the test environment to find problems that usually only surface in production. This talk is for everyone that works in a fast paced, modern development environment.


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