Pytest speedup checklist

Published: 2022/10/31 By: Neyts Zupan

A while ago, I came back to a Python project after other people had taken over maintenance. To my horror, the test suite was more than twice as slow as when I left it. And not because the codebase grew so much. Tests just got slower, bit by bit, and over time, the slowdowns accumulated.

I checked a couple of things I always do to make tests faster and managed to increase the speed by a good factor. At this point, I realized I wouldn’t have to do these optimizations if my list of common test slowness pitfalls was not buried inside my brain, but out there for everyone to use.

So here it is, a checklist to make your Python test suite faster:

Some items are quick fixes and some are a bit more involved. If you prefer a video format, I’ve given a talk where I go through the list. Finally, if podcasts are your thing, Brian and Michael talked about it during their recent PythonBytes episode.

Neyts Zupan

Geek, since I was able to walk. Ditched academic spheres for excitements of start-ups and entrepreneurship powered by open-source.

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