Hobos and Vagrants and Quality

I don’t know how many people have actually met Vic Iglesias, our Quality Hobo.  Here’s what he looks like in his natural habitat:

Quality Hobo: both smarter and better looking than you.

It’s really super important not to make Quality Hobo angry. Let me assure you from personal experience: no one wants that.

Here are some things that make Quality Hobo angry (and that you should, therefore, avoid):

  • Stealing Quality Hobo’s cigarettes, electronic or otherwise.
  • Remarking upon Quality Hobo’s resemblance to a certain celebrity.
  • Wasting Quality Hobo’s time with questions about which test cases are most recent.
  • Wasting Quality Hobo’s time by writing tests that don’t integrate into Eutester.
  • Wasting Quality Hobo’s time with questions on how to build your QA environment.
  • Wasting Quality Hobo’s time in any way at all.

Here’s what I’m saying: it was only a matter of time before our Hobo got mixed up with a Vagrant.

Vagrant is incredible, and Mitchell Hashimoto is incredible for creating it.  It’s the sort of tool you try out for a particular reason, and then once you’ve used it, you find a million other reasons to use it.  Last night, as I chased down a bug in Faststart, I got to try out Micro-QA, which is a mashup of Vagrant and Eutester and Jenkins and Ansible and all kinds of stuff, built on top of one of the standard Vagrant boxes for Centos 6.4.

Here’s the full instructions  for getting a fully updated, complete testing environment for Eucalyptus installed on your laptop:

  1. Install Vagrant+Virtualbox on your laptop.
  2. Run “git clone” on the Micro-QA repo.
  3. Run “vagrant up”.
  4. Point your browser to http://localhost:8080.

Aaaaand you’re done.

Micro-QA in action. YOUR TEST IS A FAILURE.

Ease of automated testing is one of those force multipliers that doesn’t seem super-exciting, but really is amazingly super-exciting.  Because here’s the thing: When the cost of testing is higher than basically zero, people don’t bother with it — or, they do a really half-assed job of it and then say “oh yeah, I totally tested that.” Which is waaaaaay worse.

In Micro-QA, we have a tool that brings the cost of automated QA to near-zero.  And not just for QA folks: it’s a tool that can be used by our QA team, our engineering team, our support team, our customers, and our community, all with comparatively little knowledge required. It’s a huge win for us.

And here’s the kicker: it’s not only a QA tool; it’s also a great tool for hybrid cloud diagnostics.  Set up your Euca environment; set up your AWS environment; bake in some tests that run against each; run them on a regular basis; scream when something breaks.  It’s kinda sorta magic.

Anyway. If you’ve got a Euca install, go get Micro-QA running on your laptop, bring it up in your browser, pick some test cases to run, drop the contents of your eucarc file into your test case, and run it.  If it breaks, ping us on Freenode (#eucalyptus-qa) and let us know what broke.

Vic announced Micro-QA less than six months ago.  It was cool at the time, but now it’s way past cool.  I’m really impressed by how far it’s come in such a short time.  It’s like I’m living in the future.

(For the record: Vic is really a super sweetheart of a guy, and I don’t think he actually lives under a bridge at present. I think he may be living Between Two Ferns, though.)

Hobos and Vagrants and Quality

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