An application doesn’t have one type of configuration, it has two. In Rails, it’s confusing since we muddle these two together under a giant switch statement powered by RAILS_ENV. Let’s start with some definitions.
Is caching enabled or disabled? What gems are loaded? What actions are safe to perform? When you have your app configured for “test” then it’s perfectly normal and expected to drop your database or flush your Redis instance between test runs, even though that would be catastrophic in production. In development we want hot code reloading to decrease iteration time, while in production we want to cache all code so we can run with maximum speed and throughput.