Don’t Send the Test Emails in Prod

I was recently scanning through the Messages on my Qdoba app and saw one of the messages at bottom was a test email. It was titled test and the subject was test. This got me thinking about how we test and when it’s especially important to be careful.


It seems like an easy concept… don’t add test data to production that the customers might be able to see, but in practice, this may not always be the easiest thing to remember. There are a lot of testers and lots of testing, any one of them could add data to prod.

The first is functional testing. As a functional tester myself, when I’m in a testing environment I will add fake data all day. I’ll add some names, run some reports, and importantly, ensure all emails work correctly. Sometimes you may have to test sending an email to all of your clients at one time, but this test email should never be sent in prod, so be sure that your data is set up so that if it requires a test, you send with an actual email ready for your clients.

Secondly, there can be a lot of service testing or automation testing that could run and accidentally send that test email. In a lower environment, we’ll have tests running all the time to ensure things are working. However, it’s important that these tests either don’t run in production, or if they do, that again they use real data that is OK for the clients to see.

Whenever you test, be sure to future-proof everything so that your customers don’t randomly get a test email that you can’t undo. It looks bad, causes confusion, and may even turn into a day of customer support phone calls that no one wants to deal with.

It’s not a hard concept to test, but in practice we need to always remember the importance of production data.