Chaos is an inherent quality of the universe, and IT systems are not exempt from it. Computers can handle and process tons of information, but things can eventually get messy. Understanding how chaos influences distributed computer systems can help build better apps through prevention and resilience building.
By using chaos engineering, app development and quality assurance teams can identify potential problems before they occur in production. This way, the user experience is safeguarded against turbulent conditions that might increase user turnover.
In this post we explain what chaos engineering is and how it can help your app ensure an optimum level of customer satisfaction.
What Is Chaos?
Chaos can be explained through the lens of unpredictability. In other words, chaos is the way in which complex systems operate. Systems are a defined set of interacting entities, and some are more complex than others. Understanding them can sometimes be difficult, but it pays off, especially when it comes to building great apps.
Although science has helped strengthen our understanding of how general systems work, we still have a limited knowledge of how certain complex systems work. This is also the case of IT systems. Although computer science is a constantly evolving field and our understanding of computers has increased considerably, there is still a lot that we need to learn.
This is something that software developers understand at heart. They know that no system is perfect, and that chaos is always around the corner. Accepting this fact is the starting point to build better systems, because once we accept it, we can begin to identify where turbulence occurs and address it before it is too late.
No distributed system is perfect. By understanding how chaos presents itself in distributed systems, and by working side by side with it, engineering teams can build better software products. That is why the best app development teams include chaos management into their practices.
What Is Chaos Engineering?
Developers have found an ally in chaos engineering. This discipline allows them to encounter problems in the apps they build before they occur. This is very useful when it comes to the different stages of app development and scaling.
In short, chaos engineering allows app development teams to experiment on distributed systems in a way that builds confidence, helping improve the system’s resilience. Chaos can be used to expose problems in software. This means that an app’s potential problems can be addressed before the app goes into production.
By injecting chaos into a distributed system, it is possible to overcome turbulences before going live. This becomes particularly helpful for the processes involved in cloud app development. As an app’s user base grows and the need to scale becomes imminent, chaos engineering can provide the right tools to do it correctly.
Why Is Chaos Engineering Important?
With the rise of cloud applications and large scale distributed systems, new development possibilities have opened up. However, the potential threats have also increased. Guaranteeing an app’s availability, uptime, and quality has become harder, but luckily, the quality verification methods have also evolved.
Chaos engineering is very important as it can help app development teams identify potential threats in the user experience before users come in touch with an app. Through the use of specialized tests, quality engineers can monitor how an app behaves and address any abnormality.
By strategically injecting chaos into an app, developers are able to see how certain parameters behave; this is particularly important for systems that scale across the cloud. Intentionally injecting chaos in a methodical way prevents potential frictions that can occur throughout the customer journey. Developers are thus able to recreate certain conditions that users might be exposed to, but in a safe and preventive way. The goal, after all, is to increase system resilience.
App failures can result in increased downtime and high costs, not only in terms of money, but also damaging a brand’s reputation. Users can easily delete an app that does not work, favoring competitors and bad reviews. That is why prevention becomes very important.
Chaos Engineering for Quality Assurance
Using chaos engineering as a prevention method for app testing is a key strategic component of any app’s quality assurance. It allows developers to build more resilient systems that can better respond to increased computing power demand. This helps guarantee an increased uptime, more integrated components of an app, and most importantly, expose the chaos before it gets to you.
No matter how good the cloud architecture of an app is, there is always potential for improvement. Only by designing experiments can threats be identified. In this sense, chaos engineering resembles a lot the scientific method, as this requires to create a plan, design a hypothesis, test it, monitor the impact, and analyze the results.
The Future of Chaos Engineering
Better chaos engineering tools are constantly being built. These are very useful in terms of helping address the potential threats of an app. However, these tools are only one side to the story. The other, the most crucial one, is the people behind the tools.
The best apps have one thing in common: a great QA team. A team of experienced QA engineers can help design the tests your app needs to make sure that everything runs smoothly before it hits the market.