Now, Turning to Reason, & Its Just Sweetness (the code)

This is the second part in a 3 part blog series on how to write code so you can build testable systems with external dependencies.  Link to part 3 is at the end of the post. The first post can be found here

Authors comment:This post was written over a period of a couple of weeks, and developed along side the code. There is inconsistency in what I say at the start and what ends up in the code. This is to be expected, and probably worth examining how things changed – as much to see the thought process, and that while design tends to remain fairly static, the implementation changes as new information is gathered. The total time spend on the code is about 10 hours. Of that time about 4-5 hours was code developed while mentoring a (very smart) graduate. Other consideration is my unfamiliarity these days with code authoring (sadly). I imagine if I was to start again, I’d probably be able to do it all in about 4 hours (if that). The code is pretty trivial (like most code).

—- Actual post follows —


First, simple structure, as would be expected from most projects. The “contracts” section contains the verification tests for our external interfaces. The sorts of testing that is “pact-like” in that if our code breaks for unexpected or unexplained reasons, we can run our contract tests, and see if the remote systems that we have no control over have changed. These are our sanity check. They’re not there to “prove” anything – other than our confidence that at the time the code was written, they were against those contract tests. It’s a good idea, you should think about it.



Now, our code layout looks like our design, even after working through it TDD-styles.  That’s pretty handy. There’s 2 useful observations and questions at this point. The first is “how do we calculate the math part?”. The answer to that is “we implement a Processor” for it. The second is “where is the application?”. The answer to that is “there isn’t one yet”, but it’s basically a simple wrapper around the EventProcessor. We can see how it will look if we examine one of the EventProcessor tests.


We can see our alternative implementations of the interfaces for DataStore, Processor, EventQueue and OutputDevice for our testing. I’m not completely happy with the EventProcessor and needing to set the delay and retry. It seems to be the right thing internally, it just looks ugly. Maybe something better will emerge further down the line and EventProcessor will become an interface, with some form of concrete implementation. For now it’s concrete, and it’s the only real co-ordination point within the code.


Where the interesting things occur within the code is in the EventQueue. The queue has the defined responsibility for processing the events. This is by design, and we can see the SuccessRemovalEventQueue in the example above has injected a List of Events (the queue) and the Processor which in this case is the KeyExistsInStoreProcessor. These particular implementations were chosen because I want to start modelling and investigating parts of the real solution that’s going to be needed. The concrete implementations here for EventQueue and OutputDevice are used as a “dipstick” (Testing with mock objects – JUnit in Action – page 106) .

This form of development makes it trivial to then compose up the application. Turns out – it’s just a setup, then construction of the dependencies. I wanted to print out when things were processed in the first version (let’s call it the MVP) so to do that we just implemented ConsoleOutput to implement the output device. Total time to create the application – 2 minutes.


You’ll notice that it’s one of the test cases, that’s been modified. That’s ok – it’s a great way to start – the actual application doesn’t need to know, and we can focus on implementing each of the features one at a time. We’ll start with the DataStore, because that’s probably the easiest part to implement first.

In the blink of an eye, the BatchFileProcessor has changed to the following. And with the great confidence that as the injected strategies have the same contracts as the tested ones, our imperative shell works as advertised.


Now, build out DoSomeMathProcessor() with TDD.





Essentially we test this by having a known set of values passed into our data store. This is made easier by having an “object mother” (ObjectMother)for the creation of the test data. Notice how we’re testing results, not trying to delve into the class to see if “math works” – but if we’re getting the right results.

We’re at the point of our code where we now have great confidence if we have a DataStore that returns us the valid data – we can add it up correctly. So, do that next.

And the contract test for S3DataStore(). Note here that I’m not attempting to mock, or stub or do anything to test the implementation of S3DataStore() with the BatchFileProcessor. This will be creating the contract for the use of the S3DataStore(). If I can use it against S3, then it works. That’s it !


There’s a little bit of context worth discussing here. For this particular bit of code to work, that means that the S3DataStore() class needs to be implemented and working. This was done in a few stages (over about 20-40 minutes as I looked up various bits of the S3 API). I started with the ds.exists() test, because that also allowed me to see if the Authentication parts were going to work.
For this test to ever work, we need to set up the world. That’s ok – we know that, we’re not trying to fake out the world here, this is a contract test to verify if our code works against the real world. This could also form part of a smoke test. I manually set up an S3 bucket in the Sydney region, and manually copied the “testdata.txt” file into it. I could use a shell script to do this, I could use a bit of Java code to do this and clean up after. That’s all completely valid, but doesn’t really help in understanding about “how to test AWS code” (really, it’s the implementations of the imperative shell we’re testing, AWS is just a particular implementation).

The implementation is pretty simple. Current implementation is naive and will not fulfil the “requirements” if there are errors, but the interesting part is it’s trivial to add all the business logic and test it. If we need to check for malformed files, we can do that – and have the load(String path) method do sensible things. We can trivially create test cases for this to make sure the processor acts correctly.

At this point – the code is now “working” – and we can run our implementation. We would then choose the next part of the project to implement. If I was going to continue, I’d probably do the output notification – mostly because that requires the least amount of setup.


One thought on “Now, Turning to Reason, & Its Just Sweetness (the code)

  1. Pingback: Now, Turning to Reason, & Its Just Sweetness (the design) | That's so stupid that it's not even wrong

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