Science and technology

Why we constructed an open supply testing framework

If you’ve got ever needed to affix an open supply group and contribute or begin an open supply venture of your personal, then learn on to seek out out about our enjoyable and superior open supply venture we created from scratch at Red Hat. I’m a Software Quality Engineering Manager within the OpenStack Networking group, and along with a crew of engineers each from my crew and from R&D, we collaborated to create the Tobiko open supply testing framework.

Sometimes, you simply have to start out a brand new open supply venture.

Our place to begin was good. We already had an official open supply testing framework referred to as Tempest, which strived for full protection of the OpenStack API and customary eventualities that simulate a working cloud.

The OpenStack groups I work with incessantly construct new checks and execute them in opposition to varied cloud configurations, with the assistance of Continuous Integration open supply programs—Jenkins for downstream and Zuul for upstream.

But OpenStack cloud is seeing huge adoption by the telco and enterprise industries. We have been experiencing fast development in complexity, which meant extra checks eventualities, and we have been discovering that our outdated tooling simply wasn’t a terrific match anymore.

Define the problem, outline the wants

We acknowledged shortly that the primary basic step was to outline our prospects’ new wants. This required us to analysis the problems reported to us by the shoppers. We reviewed the database of bugs from the sector, break up all points into a number of sections, and analyzed the info.

The subsequent step was to overview present tasks. It stands to cause that adopting an present venture ought to go sooner than inventing a brand new venture from scratch. And but, we hadn’t discovered an appropriate software for our wants, nor had we discovered any open supply instruments we may simply adapt.

How it occurred

That’s once we realized it.

It was time to maneuver ahead with shaping and designing a brand new venture.

We did not need to make this transfer with out critical thought and numerous enter. So we selected to make use of the Open Decision Framework (ODF). The fundamental advantage of this technique is to get as a lot suggestions as attainable within the early levels of venture improvement, which helped us save lots of time later.

After a number of conferences, throughout which we had productive brainstorming periods, we first drafted some optimistic and adverse suggestions we needed to present critical consideration to.

We iterated. We took our discussions and suggestions severely, and we labored exhausting to return to a decision.

Finally, we felt prepared to maneuver to the implementation part.

We began by gathering a bunch of people that had the time, the skills, and maybe most significantly, the fervour for driving the venture in keeping with the selections we would reached throughout planning. Once the venture began to take form, increasingly more contributors reached out to the crew to think about it for his or her new framework. 

It appears so quick when it is written down in only a few paragraphs, however this course of was deliberate, and we handled it with nice respect. For the final 12 months or so, we have had a robust core of very succesful engineers who collaborated on varied improvement challenges to help the cloud’s fast-changing infrastructure.

Below are their testimonies on the work they’ve executed, gathered from a number of totally different views of individuals concerned within the venture.

Slawomir Kaplonski, Principal Software Engineer at Red Hat

What drives you to contribute to open supply tasks?

I contribute to the tasks which I’m utilizing. If I see that there’s some bug that annoys me or some function lacking that I wish to see there, I attempt to examine why it is like that, at the least report a bug or a request for enhancement (RFE) for the venture. And in the perfect case, I attempt to suggest a patch, too.

This could also be the principle cause individuals contribute to a venture, or at the least why they begin. It’s as a result of later once you’re extra concerned in a venture, you care about that venture extra, you recognize different individuals across the venture, and issues are totally different.

What is the advantage of Tobiko being open supply?

If (when) it will get utilized by individuals from totally different groups, possibly even firms, they’ll instantly contribute to the venture, bringing their concepts and use instances there. And they’ll, and can, contribute code to repair bugs they encounter and add new options they want.

Making a venture open supply makes it out there to a large viewers, which can assist a venture develop.

Federico Ressi, Senior Software Quality Engineer at Red Hat

As a number one contributor to this effort from the start of the venture, what have been the principle classes you realized by engaged on Tobiko?

​​Some of the teachings I acquired from Tobiko in no explicit order are:

  • Avoid getting issues to work as quickly as attainable as a result of future refactoring usually has a a lot better price. It’s higher to submit little tiny incremental modifications over time.
  • Start work solely upon getting very properly articulated necessities.
  • Use a Continuous Integration system to help with testing your personal code. This results in stability.

What is the advantage of Tobiko being open supply?

The greatest advantage of Tobiko being open supply is with the ability to reuse different open supply code and OpenDev infrastructure. It additionally will increase end-user belief and consumer understanding of the venture.

Eduardo Olivares Toledo, Senior Software Quality Engineer at Red Hat

You joined the crew after the venture was in manufacturing already. How was it to affix the present venture and group?

I began attending the Tobiko conferences and taking small duties from their kanban board. Core contributors have been the principle technical factors of contact, and shortly I began asking them technical questions once I began contributing to the venture.

I additionally joined the Tobiko IRC channel and the mailing listing to be up to date on and take part in several discussions.

What assets helped you to be taught the venture?

Some upstream documentation primarily helped me begin downloading, putting in, and operating Tobiko checks.

I additionally spent a while reviewing the present CI jobs, and this was a superb solution to perceive how Tobiko was used with Openstack, how the Tobiko checks work, and I may begin contributing to fixing some points I discovered.

Tobiko relies on customary Python libraries, similar to testtools and paramiko, which makes the ramp-up course of simpler (both you are acquainted with them you probably have some expertise with Python check frameworks, or there’s loads of documentation out there).

What is the advantage of it being open supply?

There are a number of well-known advantages of open supply tasks. I’d spotlight the next ones:

  • Contribution and suggestions from individuals from totally different organizations and firms. The Tobiko venture has not but achieved this as a result of the entire contributors are Red Hat associates. Federico introduced Tobiko over the past OpenStack PTG to the Neutron group, and hopefully, some extra individuals will become involved within the venture.
  • Shorter suggestions loops as a result of CI jobs operating upstream. This is already in place as a result of Tobiko CI jobs get executed with each new Tobiko patch on the newest OpenStack model. Due to this, some OpenStack bugs acquired present in a very early stage. Tobiko is operating in a periodic jobs queue for Neutron, which implies it checks grasp department day by day gates, a exceptional achievement for Tobiko.

Build software program collectively

From my viewpoint as a supervisor within the group and a part of the crew and venture, I recognized a number of essential factors that helped the venture develop sooner and understand the worth we have been searching for: 

  • Experience: Early within the venture, I acknowledged a necessity for an skilled member within the open supply group to affix the crew to assist out with community-related subjects.
  • Division of labor: We determined to advertise extra individuals to the position of core opinions to hurry up the event cycle and break up the duty amongst crew members.
  • Education: We wanted to convey extra consideration to the venture to curiosity extra individuals to affix the hassle. We organized lectures in related conferences inside and outdoors the corporate, despatched emails with examples of latest options and achievements, and customarily helped promote the venture.

Building software program and taking part in an open supply group was and continues to be a enjoyable, instructional, and fulfilling expertise. It taught me the worth of open supply greater than ever, and I’m glad that I had the possibility to work on it with a really gifted and motivated group of individuals.

Thank you Federico Ressi, Slawek Kaplonski, Pini Komarov, Eduardo Olivares Toledo, Alex Katz, Omer Scwartz, Assaf Muller, and Arie Bergman.

If you are fascinated by OpenStack testing, join our project!

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