More often than not, the software we write directly interacts with what we would label as “dirty” services. In layman’s terms: services that are crucial to our application, but whose interactions have intended but undesired side-effects—that is, undesired in the context of an autonomous test run.
For example: perhaps we’re writing a social app and want to test out our new ‘Post to Facebook feature’, but don’t want to actually post to Facebook every time we run our test suite.
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unittest library includes a subpackage named
unittest.mock—or if you declare it as a dependency, simply
mock—which provides extremely powerful and useful means by which to mock and stub out these undesired side-effects.