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Don't be scared of the lava! Why purist unit tests are a waste of time.


The "purist" approach to unit tests says that your tests should be perfectly isolated, that they should mock out any dependencies, and that they should never, ever touch the database. The database is hot lava!

In this talk I will outline a (controversial) thesis: that such tests are just not very useful in the world of web application development, and Django. Given that my opinion is so wrong-headed (or maybe just plain wrong), I will endeavour to provide a balanced picture of the pros and cons of different testing approaches, including the arguments for purist unit tests, the options for integration testing and acceptance testing, the "functional core imperative shell" pattern (AKA hexagon architecture), all with a view to leaving the audience informed enough to make their own decisions about testing strategy.


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