How I removed friction in running my tests locally

by Carl Furrow — on  ,  ,  , 

Problem: Sometimes I forget to run tests before deploying to staging (oops)

Yes, “bad dev!” indeed. In the midst of quick-fire releases, sometimes my own standards for due-dilegence falls through the cracks. The friction comes with my having to remember to run all my tests before pushing code off my machine, and to a shared environment (git repo, staging build server).

What I am good at remembering to do is to commit the smallest possible changes to my local git feature branch. Because I makes mistakes, and the easier it is to isolate those changes/mistakes, the easier it is to cherry-pick them away, or create a fixing commit.

Solution: Remove the friction and bring the continuous integration locally

Continuous Integration (CI) / Continuous Delivery (CD) are a must-have for your company’s projects to take away the hassles of running tests, bundling and deploying your code to their production or staging endpoints/servers.

Because of my commit small hunks, and commit often, I decided to install a CI server locally that listened to all my local commits across all branches, and then build the code, run all the unit tests and deploy the app locally for UI testing.

Now, I can be sure that all my changes have not broken any existing test, and I can keep plugging away while the server handles the rest.

On a multi-monitor setup my main display is for coding, and my secondary is for watching the build server alerts and refreshing the locally-deployed site in a browser.

I’ve found having this configuration and workflow actually helps enforce good practice. Knowing that each commit fires a build keeps me doing it in small amounts, and I get the added benefit of tests and deployments while I keep my mind in the context of the problem.

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Carl Furrow

Addicted to learning and looking to master the art of solving problems through writing code, while occasionally yelling at computer screens.