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The InfoQ eMag: Testing Your Distributed (Cloud) Systems


It used to be so simple. Develop your two or three tier app. Give it to your testing team to verify that it met some pre-defined functional requirements. Hand the finished software to your operation team to deploy and operate on a couple servers in your data center. 

But in hindsight, it wasn't that simple, or effective. The way we're expected to engineer software today exposes the glaring flaws in the ways we built, tested, deployed, and operated software before. You now expect software to be more resilient to all sorts of failures. More responsive to the ever-changing needs of its users. More scalable in response to constant or unexpected usage. And more automation-centric to increase manageability. To handle these expectations, we have to adjust.

The focus of this eMag? How we adjust the testing—or more accurately, the quality assurance (QA)—practice to thrive in this new world.

If "learn faster" is the only major competitive advantage left, our software has to enable constant experimentation. That means our testing function can't operate as a silo, disconnected from ongoing development. It can't obsess over individual "functional" requirements and miss out on testing the overall customer experience. Software testing has never been more important. But the scope has expanded, and the delivery pace quickened. This means new approaches, new skills, and new tools.

Testing is an underappreciated discipline and I wanted to shine a spotlight on the changing nature of testing in a cloud-driven world. I hope you enjoy what we've put together here, and find a host of thought-provoking, and actionable, ideas.

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The InfoQ eMag - Testing Your Distributed (Cloud) Systems includes:

  • 2018 State of Testing Report - The State of Testing 2018 report provides insights into the adoption of test techniques, practices, and test automation, and the challenges that testers are facing. It shares results from this year’s testing survey. InfoQ held an interview with the organisers of the State of Testing survey.
  • The Cloud Native QA - The advent and widespread adoption of the cloud ecosystem presents a new challenge to the modern-day QA. What does it mean to be QA in a Cloud Native software business?
  • Architecturally Aligned Testing - Testing microservices should not be done in a separate test phase, by a dedicated test team, but instead collaboratively by cross-functional teams. There is a shift left in testing to ensure that teams stay autonomous and a shift right in testing towards exploration and experimentation. Continuous Testing and a culture of experimentation are enablers to release microservices fast and reliably.
  • How Contract Tests Improve the Quality of Your Distributed Systems - Catching bugs at the end of a development cycle is costly, but how do you incrementally test complex distributed systems? In this article, Marcin Grzejszczak looks at an integration testing approach for communication between components. He reviews contract testing, and Spring Cloud Contract, as one solution.
  • Testing Programmable Infrastructure - a Year On - Programmable infrastructure is becoming widespread. There are very specific domain issues that make testing it tricky. This article looks at the evolution of tooling and approaches used to address it.

InfoQ eMags are professionally designed, downloadable collections of popular InfoQ content - articles, interviews, presentations, and research - covering the latest software development technologies, trends, and topics.