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Posted June 8, 2016

Mobify Automates JavaScript Unit Testing and Saves Time with Sauce Labs

Mobify, a platform for making adaptive websites quickly and easily, needed a faster, less tedious way to run JavaScript unit tests for mobify.js, an open source library for improving responsive websites.


Before using Sauce to run their unit tests, Mobify developers had to run tests on local devices, a laborious process that significantly slowed down development. 

Mobify cut JS unit testing time from 2 hours to 5 minutes by running their tests on Sauce, while also increasing the number of OS/browser versions they were able to test on. 

The Challenge

Mobify, a technology company that creates a platform to make responsive/ adaptive websites, is trusted by leading Fortune 500 companies to power their responsive sites and drives millions of dollars of online revenue. The Mobify team works hard to ensure their customers’ sites work and perform optimally, while constantly improving the platform. Their product team needed a way to automate testing that was quick and allowed them to test on a wide range of browsers and operating systems.

For JavaScript unit testing, Mobify’s product team relied on manually running scripts on local devices, which was time-consuming, a drain on developer resources, and significantly slowed down development time. Recently, the team was tasked with refactoring mobify.js, an open source library for powering responsive sites. Since the library needs to work on a variety of devices and browsers, every time developers ran tests they had to grab devices and browsers and run tests on each one, a tedious process that kept them from iterating as quickly as they wanted.

The product team knew they wanted to automate their unit testing to speed up development, and looked into open source tools and local machines to build an automation system. But when they saw the time and resources needed to do it themselves, they knew it would be more work than it was worth, and didn’t want to waste developer resources that could be spent working on their product.

The Solution

Mobify had already been using Sauce to run Selenium tests to ensure their customers’ sites were working properly. So when they needed a better solution for JS unit testing, they turned to Sauce to run their unit tests as well. The Mobify team was using Grunt with their QUnit tests and they used the Grunt-Sauce Labs plugin to run tests on all browsers with a single command.

Not only were they able to stop wasting time grabbing browsers and devices for testing, they also sped up testing by running tests in parallel. And they were able to test even more OS and browser versions than before, with less effort. 

The Results

Running JS unit tests on Sauce saves the Mobify team significant testing time and rapidly speeds up development time. Running around 2 hours of tests now takes 5 minutes, and Grunt runs their tests automatically.

“We want mobify.js to be something we can iterate on fast, and constantly make improvements, and when you’re held back by having to test on all those devices, development is going to move really slowly. Using Sauce has helped me significantly improve the speed of development,” says Shawn Jansepar, Lead Software Engineer on Mobify’s product team. Not only can the Mobify team cover more browsers and devices, but they think less about their testing. With Grunt, they simply test against every browser and device they’ve set to run with no effort.

Mobify’s approach to testing is simple: don’t let your users be the testing devices. Quality code that’s as close to bug-free as possible is their goal. They’ve found that it’s much easier to fix an issue as soon as it arises, because if a bug makes it to production users might not notice it immediately, causing development headaches down the road. Without the easy automation that Sauce made possible, the Mobify team wouldn’t have the same depth of test coverage. Thanks to the increased browser coverage available through Sauce, the Mobify team has been able to catch bugs they wouldn’t have otherwise. This means a better experience for end users, and more streamlined development for the Mobify team.

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