Build Systems that Drive Business
Sep 30–Oct 1, 2018: Training
Oct 1–3, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

60,000 tests in six minutes: Create a reliable pipeline, eliminate flaky tests, and deploy safely but quickly

Sam Guckenheimer (Microsoft)
2:25pm–3:05pm Tuesday, October 2, 2018
How We Built It
Location: Gramercy Level: Intermediate
Secondary topics:  Systems Architecture & Infrastructure
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 2 ratings)

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A working knowledge of coding and unit testing (useful but not required)

What you'll learn

  • Learn what type of tests to do in your DevOps pipeline, when you should do them, and why


Good test coverage is essential for catching issues before a pull request has been merged, but they have to be the right kind of tests and must be reliable. Sam Guckenheimer digs into the testing transformation his team at Microsoft underwent as they started on their DevOps journey. He explains how they used to test their products and the issues (both technical and cultural) this presented. He walks you through the changes they went through and why and explains the data they found to prove their case for change and what they did to move. Sam also details which things are best covered by unit tests, which you should leave to manual code review in the pull request, and which are best suited to testing in production.

Photo of Sam Guckenheimer

Sam Guckenheimer


Sam Guckenheimer is the product owner for Azure DevOps at Microsoft, where he acts as the chief customer advocate, responsible for the strategy for the next releases of these products, focusing on DevOps, Agile, and CI/CD pipelines. Sam also curates the website DevOps at Microsoft. Previously, Sam was director of product line strategy at Rational Software Corporation, now the Rational Division of IBM. He is a regular speaker and has given keynote addresses at conferences such as DevOps Enterprise Summit and Agile. He is the author of four books, most recently Journey to Cloud Cadence and Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012: Adopting Agile Software Practices—From Backlog to Continuous Feedback. Sam lives in the Seattle area with his wife in a sustainable house they built.