CppCon 2015 Program Highlights, 6 of N

The CppCon 2015 conference program has been posted for the upcoming September conference. We’ve received requests that the program continue to be posted in “bite-sized” posts, a few sessions at a time, to make the 100+ sessions easier to absorb, so here is another set of talks. This series of posts will conclude once the entire conference program has been posted in this way.


Programming is not all about creating softwares. It is also important to verify that the program works as expected. Tests are used for that.

The following interrelated CppCon 2015 talks tackle these issues and more.

In this post:

  • Test Driven C++ With Catch
  • Your Tests Are Terrible: Tales from the Trenches
  • Testing Battle.net (before deploying to millions of players)
  • Advanced Unit Testing in C++
  • The current memory and C++ debugging tools used at Electronic Arts


Test Driven C++ With Catch by Phil Nash

C++ has been notorious for being a second class citizen when it comes to test frameworks. There are plenty of them but they tend to be fiddly to set-up and ceremonious to use. Many of them attempt to follow the xUnit template without respect for the language environment they are written for. Catch is an attempt to cut through all of that. It is simple to get and simple to use - being distributed in a single header file - yet is powerful and flexible. Catch includes a number of innovations that make testing in C++ more natural - and fun - than ever before. This presentation introduces you to the unique approach that Catch brings to unit and integration testing - and how to use Catch to drive your design with TDD or BDD.

Your Tests Are Terrible: Tales from the Trenches by Titus Winters, Software Engineer, Google

Thousands of Google engineers have collectively written about 100,000 separate C++ test binaries in the last 15 years. Not all of those was a perfect test. In this talk we’ll focus on how to write good tests and adopt a good testing philosophy, with lots of examples of what not to do (and why).

Testing Battle.net (before deploying to millions of players) by Ben Deane, Principal Software Engineer, Blizzard Entertainment

Battle.net is the online service that runs Blizzard's games. As such, it is a large scale distributed system with many interacting parts and dependencies on various services and data. While developing Battle.net servers, I needed a way to isolate and test functionality that I was working on.

In this talk I will cover my experience designing for testability of components in a distributed system, and practical ways to structure classes and data to facilitate testing. I will also present my solution to the problem of testing my code for correctness, performance and scalability without having to deploy a full-scale environment and spin up a million clients.


Advanced Unit Testing in C++ by Matt Hargett 

This session goes in-depth into advanced techniques to isolate and unit test C++ classes, especially those in legacy code that isn't easy to change. This builds on the Pragmatic Unit Testing in C++ talk from last year, with live code examples of safe refactorings, injecting mock objects, and potential pitfalls across different platforms and toolchains.


The current memory and C++ debugging tools used at Electronic Arts by Scott Wardle, Senior Software Engineer, EA

Scott Wardle a senior software engineer Electronic Arts will talk about the current memory and C++ debugging setup and tools used in games.

PS4 and Xbox One have virtual memory and 64 bit address spaces, GPU and CPU are getting closer in the ability to work virtual memory. So our tools are getting better and better and closer to PCs. Most of a games memory goes towards art and level data like bitmap textures and polygon meshes. So artist and designer need to understand how much their data takes up. Giving them call stacks of memory allocations does not help. They want to know how big is a group of building is. Why is this group of building bigger than this one? Maybe this one has some animation data or one of the textures is too big. But there are 10,000s of objects built by 100s of people all around the world.

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YechielKimchi said on Sep 8, 2015 04:36 PM:

Pity: So much about testing - nothing about comprehensibility.