DevOps is hard

Cross-service “integration tests” have to go — October 17, 2022

Cross-service “integration tests” have to go

tl;dr They are often broken in pipelines and that might be because they are broken as a concept.

A typical issue in a microservices architecture is ensuring that the integration between services won’t break with the introduction of a new release. In my time as a consultant I have seen different organisations try to tackle this problem with varying degrees of success.

There is one particular approach that I have never seen fully succeed, although it is certainly popular. Organisations often try to have an “integration” test suite in a shared environment that spans several (if not all) services. It usually pokes and prods at functionality owned by multiple teams.

In this article I want to explore why I think these are a bad idea. I will also propose an alternative which is more in line with my understanding of the latest testing good practices.

First, let’s clarify the problem.

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An Isolated Developer Setup with Docker — May 15, 2021

An Isolated Developer Setup with Docker

In this post I am going to propose a set up to run any kind of application on a developer laptop in complete isolation. It is based on packaging the application into a Docker container, and convince it is still talking to the real world while we’re actually mocking everything around it (spoiler: using more Docker containers).

I have used this in projects of various sizes – from small scale to really chunky applications with lots of intricate dependencies – and has generally proven itself to be worth the initial investment.

In this guide I will assume that the reader is starting from scratch, with an application that is run locally just from their IDE, with no real automation or containerisation. Feel free to skip any of the steps if they are redundant or do not apply to your situation.
I will also assume the reader is familiar with basic concepts of Docker and networking.

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