Ashton Kemerling’s talk at the conj is about Generative Testing (also known as Property-based Testing) as applied to integration tests. Generative Testing is a methodology for generating many tests randomly to find failing cases (as opposed to writing each test by hand). It often finds difficult bugs and can present a very small, reproducible failing case.
The best talk I have seen about Generative Testing is John Hughes’ talk at Clojure/West. John Hughes wrote Quickcheck for Haskell and Erlang. Reid Draper has recently ported it to Clojure in the form of test.check. He also gave a talk at Clojure/West about test.check.
Why it matters
Generative testing is great for unit testing. It has already found bugs in Clojure itself. What’s not obvious is how to apply the technique to integration tests to test the interaction of different systems. This talk appears to be an experience report from a company that has actually used Generative Integration Tests.