Meeting Notes for November: How do you even test that? a software testing primer

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 11:16 -- JackC

Room 200, Rockefeller Hall, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Two Lightning talks:

LT1: Al Jachmiack - node.js code coverage with Istanbul.

Al presented a short look at Istanbul - a "Code Coverage Tool", and illustrated how analysing your software with such a tool can assist with locating possible problem areas in your code. Al showed how the output provided was useful in determining possible problem areas with low (or no) use code sections.

LT2: Joe Apuzzo - Digital Mobile Radios (DMR).

Joe showed the group a new radio he recently obtained, the TYT MD 380. DMR is a huge topic, interesting to Makers and Hams (quite a few of both in this group) and the programming of the radio Joe has (as well as others) is available as Open Source. In the confines of a Lightning Talk, Joe was only really able to present some interesting features, such as configuring a Repeater. If you are interested in newer radio communications methods, DMR is an interesting system.

Main Talk: Sean Dague - How do you even Test that?

Sean presented concepts of Software Testing - Why and How. 

The purpose of Testing is to Make Sure Things Work. Testing methods involve calling code to evaluate whether your segment functions as intended or gives unexpected or undetermined results.

Although tools exist for hearly all coding methods (perl, c, node.js, many others), Sean presented primarily python illustrations and methods. The techniques are replicable to other coding methods.

In general,. testing methods usually have:

  • Filenames starting with "test"
  • Test Classes starting with "test"
  • test functions starting with "test"
  • You kind of get the idea....

All testing systems have caveats. You will trade ease of writing against and running for solid functioning.

The two basic methods for testing are Fakes and Mocks.  The distinction between these is sometimes a little vague.

Many examples were given and many questions dealt with.

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