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Managing the Test Data Nightmare

Translations: en en


This talk was presented at PyBay2021 Food Truck Edition - 6th annual Bay Area Regional Python conference. See for more details about PyBay and click SHOW MORE for more information about this talk.

DESCRIPTION Good data for testing can be a nightmare to manage. Sometimes, teams don’t have much control over the data in their systems under test—it’s just dropped in, and it can change arbitrarily. Other times, teams need to build their own data sets, either before testing or during testing. Inaccurate data can leave test gaps. Incorrect or stale data can break tests. Large data can consume too much time. Ugh!

In this talk, we’ll cover strategies for defeating many types of test data nightmares:

  • recognizing the difference between product data and test case data
  • deciding when to prepare data statically beforehand or dynamically during testing
  • using data to control how tests run or reflect product state
  • hard-coding values versus discovering data in the system
  • avoiding collisions on shared data

The strategies we cover can be applied to any project in any language. After this talk, you will wake up from the nightmare and handle test data cleanly and efficiently like a pro!

ABOUT THE SPEAKER Andy Knight is an engineer and consultant who loves all things software. He specializes in building robust test automation solutions from the ground up using the latest technologies and best practices. He currently works at PrecisionLender in Cary, NC. Read his tech blog at, and follow him on Twitter at @AutomationPanda.

SPONSOR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This and other PyBay2021 videos are made possible by our sponsors: - Carta - Anyscale - Goodrx - Nginx -

EVENT PRODUCER ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This community conference is produced by organizers of SF Python meetup and volunteers from around the SF Bay Area. See upcoming events here:


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