What's your experience of testing Web3 applications?

A new article is up on the site and this one is an introduction to testing Web3 applications:

It’s packed with details on what Web3 is as well as what tools and approaches we can use to test Web3.

The article is full of great references and links but is there anything Web3 testers would like to add? Do you have any experiences of testing Web3 applications that you can share with those new to this type of architecture?

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Frankly, anyone who says that “because of the Blockchain technology, it is far more secure” about anything is either clueless or being deceitful.
Apart from this, everything in this article is just hollow words and buzzwords bingo -even if we ignore the many problems of blockchains that should steer every person with a shred of morality away from them (see Bruce scheneier, for example. Perhaps here: Essays: There's No Good Reason to Trust Blockchain Technology - Schneier on Security) , the “explanation” of the blockchain is lacking and trivial, and the testing “advice” is basically to treat it like any other software project. Gee, thanks.
It looks like a shoddy marketing white paper that I don’t understand why it get’s a stage here.

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Hi @amit.wertheimer

Thank you for your post. I felt it important to respond to some of the comments as I want to make it clear why we went ahead with this post.

Firstly, for context I worked with Rafaela to create this article. She was keen to create a course on testing Web3 technology, but my concern was diving into a course about technology that many aren’t familiar would contribute to a lack of engagement. No one wants to create a course to have no one take it.

It looks like a shoddy marketing white paper that I don’t understand why it get’s a stage here.

I suggested an introductory article to testing for Web3 as a means to build up knowledge and as an experiment to see what interest there may be. Therefore, it’s not a marketing piece and was never intended to be one.

the “explanation” of the blockchain is lacking and trivial, and the testing “advice” is basically to treat it like any other software project.

To be clear, this article is meant to be an introductory piece. The goal is to highlight how we might go about testing this technology, not to provide an in-depth analysis of how the tech works. If there was questions about going deeper, then we would likely create a course like Rafaela offered.

Reading the article myself, I agree that the testing approach is similar to other software. But not everyone has the same experiences as us. Our articles attract a wide range of members with different experiences and some may come across this article as a first step into testing web3.

I’m aware that technologies under the Web3 banner have been connected to some questionable community members and working practises and it is worth raising them. But ultimately, this stigma should be attached to the individuals and not the technology itself. There are testers in the industry who will be required to test this technology and it is better to have them informed of good practises so that they can reduce risk and misuse.

I totally support the idea of offering different perspectives to the ethics of Web3 technology and to wider technology and domains. But I feel it’s unfair to characterise this article as a cynical piece to advertise Web3. Rafaela worked hard on this article at my request and she has provided something that is of value for community members.

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Hi @mwinteringham
Thanks for sharing the additional context. It does shed new light on some aspects of the article.
I’m still quite uncomfortable with it, and I think it can be narrowed down to the following:

  1. Setting up the premise - Blockchain tech is indeed a buzzword that has gained some prominence, but especially in an introductory article it’s important to avoid misdirection, even unintentional ones (So, in the article, those would be the claims to security and privacy.

  2. I disagree about the problem being “questionable community members” - while it has been a problem, it is only a symptom. The tech itself is causing some serious ethical problems. Small list of those is: is the environmental cost worth the problem being solved (relevant mainly for proof-of-work protocols)? Should we enable a technology that is, by design, resistant to regulation and to external changes? if so, when? Is the plutocracy created by the blockchain (in both PoW and PoS systems) is really better than a trusted and regulated central location? Is it ethical to be working on tech that doesn’t actually solve a problem that it did not create?
    an introductory article should at least mention those points so that newcomers can decide whether they want to dig deeper themselves.

  3. The usefulness of the article is very limited - it doesn’t provide anyone (familiar with blockchain systems or not) with any tangible benefits when coming to deal with those technologies. For instance, instead of the very verbose “do regular testing”, it would have been much more effective to say something like “It’s software, use the regular approach that you already do. When you do get into it, here are some things you might have to think about differently (and then refer to problems such as having your transaction cancelled by a stronger chain, to the privacy risks introduced by having a public ledger or the prohibitive cost of adding a new block to the chain which might render some test actions impossible to use )”