OmbuLabs Blog

The Lean Software Boutique

Articles about Continuous Integration

'Flaky' tests: a short story

One of the hardest failing tests to debug are those which fail randomly, also known as "flaky" tests. You write your test cases, you run the tests in your environment (in random order), and see them all pass. Afterwards, you push your code, your CI server runs them and one test fails.

This is not an uncommon scenario, and one too common when using integration tests which use JS, with Capybara-Webkit or Selenium. But if your failing test doesn't communicate with an external API, doesn't use JS, and passes locally, it can be a bit nerve-wracking.

After you have identified the failing test, and it still passes after running it locally, one way to figure out why it's failing is running its context multiple times.

To automate this process a bit, I like to use the following command:

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How to run multiple dependent builds on Circle CI

We all know the importance of having a CI tool integrated in your project. It allows you to run your entire test suite every time you want to merge a set of changes. If you have a core project and many projects that depend on it, you want to run the tests for the core project and the dependent projects at the same time. This article explains how you can do it with Circle CI.

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