Nikki Attea

Software Engineer, Sensu

Nikki Attea was an All-American college volleyball player and computer science research assistant. She started her career at tech giant Apple working on QA automation for the iOS and watchOS Performance teams. Seeking newer challenges in development, she entered the startup world as a Software Dev. Engineer at Sensu, Inc. where she has contributed to the Sensu Go product, improved DevOps infrastructure, and implemented new QA processes to aid in all around release efforts. Nikki is a work- from-home dog mom who plays beach volleyball in Hermosa when she’s not stuck behind a computer debugging complex distributed systems problems.

Talk Title: Testing and Monitoring and Broken Things

As a small startup team of developers, release engineering and quality assurance was inherently problematic. To optimize these processes, Sensu implemented a full automated test infrastructure for staging and end-to-end testing, which later became known as the QA Crucible. To increase observability on the overall ecosystem, Nikki started to research the intersection of monitoring and testing in a CI/CD pipeline, and sought to implement existing tooling to further optimize the workflow. By instrumenting JSON test results within a monitoring solution, she discovered a major upside to how tests are run, visualized, responded to, and remediated. Not only can tests be run continuously, but results can also be routed through an event pipeline for data manipulation, visibility and alerting. This pattern allows operators to treat test failures as incidents, and persists test results as metrics in a time-series database for analysis. This technology stack uses Rspec for automated tests, Sensu as an event pipeline, InfluxDB for metric storage, and Grafana for visual dashboards.