Agile + DevOps East 2023 Concurrent Session : Testing Your Way Out of Microservices Hell

Conference archive


Thursday, November 9, 2023 - 11:45am to 12:45pm

Testing Your Way Out of Microservices Hell

A microservices architecture offers the fantastic promise of loosely coupled systems, independently testable and deployable. However, it can also present some significant challenges while conducting integration & exploratory testing. Since a single service will often not do anything valuable without several collaborator services, one typically needs to understand the way many services work together to effectively integration-test the system. This challenge can be viewed optimistically as well. By design, a microservice must at least provide some API interface, often making it easy to create imposter services for its collaborators. Injecting a test double into the system is often as simple as setting a few configuration flags. It also offers flexibility in the scope of our tests. We can make some choices as to what services, middleware, and databases should be considered “under test,” and which should be considered “outside dependencies.” This then enables us to fine tune the scope of any single test to as tight or as wide as we would like. In this talk, we’ll discuss some of the challenges when testing microservices, as well as some approaches to overcome them. We’ll emphasize the importance of standardization and conventions, and how our desire to test in this way can make sure everyone adheres to these design standards.


In his more than a decade as an engineer at Bloomberg, Ryan Hoban has worked on multiple teams in Trading Systems and Fixed Income Pricing. He now works on the company’s Secrets Infrastructure team. He is also the co-chair of Bloomberg’s Automated Testing Guild. As a Guild Leader, he has developed several training courses to evangelize a test automation strategy across the organization. He is a true believer that educating people how to write high quality tests is the best thing we can do to improve developer productivity