Automated testing in software development is the cornerstone of a strong agile development process. Being able to quickly and easily verify that new functionality doesn’t break existing code, or that it functions as expected, is key to iterating and releasing quickly and with confidence. However, in many organizations, extensive testing — even automated testing — is not practical due to infrastructure constraints or long build times. The solution for this quandary is to leverage on-demand environments for automated testing. A git pull request builder like Tugboat, which generates working versions of your website or web app for every pull request, can replace static and constrained infrastructure in your automated testing process.
Netlify is popular among people who are looking for a simple platform to build and host websites, but one feature in particular gets a lot of love from developers and site-builders: Netlify Deploy Previews. There’s a good reason for this: the ability to deploy every pull request from a Git repository to create a fully-functional version of a website is pretty transformational to the development experience. If you’ve wanted the ability to have deploy previews but aren’t using Netlify as a web host, there’s good news: you can get on-demand previews of your websites via a hosting-agnostic service: Tugboat.
Static site generators such as Jekyll, Hugo, and MkDocs, are great tools for quickly generating minimal-infrastructure websites. Many of the popular static site generators have great community support, and offer a wide variety of themes and advanced customization options. One drawback of static site generators, though, is that before pushing updates live to production, changes are only visible in local development environments. The ability to see a working preview of your site, that is decoupled from your local dev environment, is a great tool for collaborating, code review, testing changes, and debugging.
Tugboat (and our parent company, Lullabot) strives to be inclusive, recognizing and valuing the humanness in one another. One way we can do this is by examining the language we use internally, as well as in our customer-facing repositories and documentation.
Have you seen Tugboat’s new logo yet? By the time you read this, it might already be out in the wild - including right here on Tugboat’s home page.
Have you ever thought: “Wow, I love speeding up my Tugboat Preview builds by using Base Previews, but I wish Tugboat could automatically select which Base Preview to build from, instead of building them all.”
Software peer reviews are designed to detect and correct issues early in the development process, saving organizations time and money. Whether the peer review is focused on bug fixes, performant code, requirement validation, or software quality assurance, there’s one common pain point with this practice: code reviews become a bottleneck in the software development process.
When we released Visual Diffs, it was a big feature that made a small splash. Then we quietly added the ability to define Visual Diff paths in the config.yml file into a small release. It’s time to give Visual Diffs a little of the fanfare they deserve, as this Tugboat feature drives a big proportion of value for code testing and acceptance.