ThoughtWorks Announces Improved Mingle Build Times

| by Savita Pahuja Follow 2 Followers on Feb 28, 2015. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

Mingle continuous integration now takes 40 minutes to complete one build, mentioned by Sudhindra Rao, Software Consultant at ThoughtWorks in recent his blog.

Mingle runs on Java using JRuby. With all these superlative technologies Mingle CI build still takes 40 mins. This is an improvement and we are happy with it.

Sudhindra mentioned that the unique thing about this build for Mingle is that they run all tests before declaring success. 40 minutes is all it takes for everything to pass. ThoughtWorks claims to provide the fastest build possible.

Sudhindra says that they use gocd as our continuous delivery tool. gocd helps allows them to have a really configurable pipeline structure which can be configured to scale. They have a massively parallelized gocd build pipeline which runs these tests in under an hour.

With gocd we invested significant time in parallelizing tests. One of the features of the old generation test splitting strategy was a simple but homegrown parallelization strategy. We replaced this with a much more robust, but automated test splitting and balancing provided through test load balancer - TLB. Using this tool exposed our test dependencies. We spent significant time in resolving these dependencies and cleaning up tests to allow them to be TLB friendly - independent of order, side effects and environment agnostic. This parallelization brought the much needed cleanliness. Along with this we were able to add more agents to extract better build performance. Now we run all tests in parallel - unit, functional, acceptance.

ThoughtWorks picked a different tool to replace some of their acceptance tests and are migrating to using capybara and webdriver for new tests or rewriting tests. Slowly they are deprecating/deleting acceptance tests that do not seem focused enough. Along with these tests that are not able to explain the features - succintly are moved over and rewritten in RSpec. RSpec is a Behaviour-Driven Development tool for Ruby programmers.

This strategy has yielded great results for us. If we continue this exercise we can certainly make our build even faster.

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