Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Adobe Flex, CRM, Apache

Microservices Expo: Article

Developers – Stop Doing QA's Job

Unit Testing can solve the problem

We've all been there - it's Friday night, 11PM and the system you just deployed doesn't work. There's a bug. Your manager just hung up. You phone your friends to tell them that you're not going out tonight. You start thinking: Why didn't QA catch that. Now management is going to add more QA staff, give them more budget, and there's going to be a zero bug tolerance policy once again.

There is a way out of this problem. Could it actually be unit testing? I had the good fortune to visit two development teams in the same company and compare firsthand the experience of teams that might prove this assumption.

Two years ago, the teams diverged on different paths.

"Unit testing?" said the first team leader. "We know it is going to be hard. But we heard that it's likely to provide lots of benefits: cleaner code, fewer bugs, quicker development cycle... and our whole development team has been begging for this. QA also spends significantly less time finding bugs. Manual testing may have taken too long but that's gone the way of the dodo. We're going to have to get management on board. "

"We've heard that unit testing is a good practice but we are under a lot of pressure. I'm sure that it will postpone our release date," said the second team leader. "Let's do it after the release. "

The first team convinced the management to give 20% of its time to unit testing and continued to learn, improve, and were persistent in writing unit tests.

The second team kept on postponing unit testing ‘til after the "next release."

I went back to visit the teams recently, to see how they are getting along. It was eye-opening.

I had a great discussion with both teams.

The team that learned about unit testing and started testing (using Typemock Isolator) kept on speaking highly of their results and gave the unit testing love as they were overwhelmed with joy over their processes and tools.

Why?

Their software release cycle (developers and QA) is much shorter (25%-33%) than the other team. Software is released quicker. The team has stayed relatively intact as engineers prefer to work in environments with automated unit testing.

QA is relatively happy. Compared to the other team, they focus on real usage issues rather than simply getting the application to work. They find less critical bugs and the bugs they find are significantly less severe than the other team. The developers are more confident in their code, allowing them to make changes quickly, without introducing bugs.

The developers are consistently adding functionality. Of course bugs still creep in even with unit testing. However, the few bugs found by QA aren't anything to be ashamed of - both sides are happier and trust among the teams has increased. Management is also happier with the quality of the software - after all, fewer customer complaints means reaching the business goals.

What about the second team that didn't unit test?

The team that didn't start unit testing kept talking about how they would like to do unit tests and the developers are ashamed that they never started.

The team members were having problems. Pressure, delayed releases, and management were on the team's back because of too many bugs. That is why the management decided on a zero bug tolerance policy again. This meant that the team had to build a QA-style environment and had to test the system manually before sending the application to the QA team. Practically, they were doing QA's job in order to lower the bugs sent to the QA.

The developers are not happy. Their focus turned from adding more features to get the bugs to QA down. They do this by manual ‘QA style' testing, constantly running the debugger, engaging in time-consuming deployment and manual testing for every small feature instead of developer-style unit testing ... and they know it. This makes the development cycle longer and no one is happy as they are all overworked. Caffeine and foosball doesn't compensate for sleepless nights and endless debugging.

QA is saddled with bugs and is working overtime to bring them down and is requesting more and more money in their budget to get the bugs ironed out....tired of fighting with the developers and management about the number of bugs and consistently delayed release due to the incessant back and forth between the two teams.

By not unit testing, the team is doing their work plus QA's work: they are developing their software, plus testing their code

It is obvious that the team that was persistent with unit testing, and went through the ropes and hardship of learning how to do it correctly, had the upper hand. They improved their coding skills, were energized by their coverage and had a better time-to-market. The other team, well they starting to do the QA's job too.

Eli Lopian is the CEO of Typemock, the Unit Testing Company (http://www.typemock.com).

More Stories By Josh Litvin

Yaniv Yehuda is the Co-Founder and CTO of DBmaestro, an Enterprise Software Development Company focusing on database development and deployment technologies. Yaniv is also the Co-Founder and the head of development for Extreme Technology, an IT service provider for the Israeli market. Yaniv was a captain in Mamram, the Israel Defense Forces computer centers where he served as a software engineering manager.

Microservices Articles
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it’s important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. “Fly two mistakes high” is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee A...
Lori MacVittie is a subject matter expert on emerging technology responsible for outbound evangelism across F5's entire product suite. MacVittie has extensive development and technical architecture experience in both high-tech and enterprise organizations, in addition to network and systems administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning technology editor at Network Computing Magazine where she evaluated and tested application-focused technologies including app secu...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addresse...
The now mainstream platform changes stemming from the first Internet boom brought many changes but didn’t really change the basic relationship between servers and the applications running on them. In fact, that was sort of the point. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Gordon Haff, senior cloud strategy marketing and evangelism manager at Red Hat, will discuss how today’s workloads require a new model and a new platform for development and execution. The platform must handle a wide range of rec...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...