Mocking Dependencies

Although ‘Test Double’ is supposed to be the umbrella term for all kinds of mocks, fakes and stubs, in practice people tend to say ‘mock’. That’s fine in most cases, but it is probably useful to know what the difference is between a mock and other kinds of test double.


On the topic of Test Doubles - give me three facts.

Concept - Mocks

Instead of launching straight into the theory, first get them to review the SingleSignOn code and existing test. The test is slow and unreliable. How could you redesign it to make it faster and more reliable?

Hopefully they will realize a test double would help here, and they might suggest replacing the AuthenticationGateway with a stub. That would work, but is a little bit indirect. Another way to do it is to replace the SingleSignOnRegistry with a mock. That makes the test setup a little simpler, and the test faster.

Go through what a mock is and how it is different from a Stub. You could also mention the difference between a Mock and a Spy.


Have them change the test in SingleSignOn to use a mock. In this case a spy helps because it lets us verify a particular call is made - it’s really important we ensure the service always validates the token, and actually for this test we don’t really want to check the exact response text. That is likely to change often, and will be validated in other tests.


In your own words, summarize the most important things you want to remember about test doubles. Explain to one another in pairs or write a note to yourself.