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Wayfair Removed 80k of Long Term Failure Code with Sauce Labs

Wayfair is an American e-commerce company that sells furniture and home-goods. Formerly known as CSN Stores, the company was founded in 2002. Their digital platform offers 14 million items from more than 11,000 global suppliers.

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Wayfair Removed 80k of Long Term Failure Code with Sauce Labs

The Challenge

Creating a scalable testing environment for a rapidly growing company

Wayfair was founded in 2002 as an online-only furniture and home goods retailer. Since then, customer expectations for robust online retail experiences have grown exponentially, creating an increased need for digital confidence in the space. To build and maintain a high quality online presence, Wayfair needed to develop a scalable and agile testing practice. Some of the challenges Wayfair faced when building a scalable testing environment were accountability issues, reliance on manual testing, a lack of standardized practices for writing code, and a lack of communication between QA & engineering teams. Having a large monolith repo and reliance on manual testing caused issues with team communication, the ability to standardize their testing, and team accountability - and increased the potential for errors amongst teams while also making it more difficult to conduct root cause analyses. These challenges meant that testing at Wayfair was inconsistent and riddled with errors, which led to delayed deployments and negative experiences for customers using both their web and mobile applications. The team turned to Sauce Labs for help.

The Solution

Shifting to a UI testing framework and creating common practices 

Wayfair wanted to make three major updates to create a more efficient development and testing process.

The Wayfair team began by adjusting their recruitment efforts, merging their QA and engineering departments, and moving to a UI testing framework. To successfully transition to this framework, Wayfair needed to standardize their use of Selenium. Sauce Labs helped with this transition by articulating the benefits of standardizing on Selenium, and showing how this would enable their automated tests to run more smoothly and coherently across the teams. Once this standardization was in place, issues of accountability, communication, and reliance on manual testing were resolved. The expertise provided was ultimately the largest draw for Wayfair to adopt Sauce Labs.

In addition to guiding Wayfair in their UI testing shift, Sauce Labs was also able to provide a more secure connection for their tests with SauceConnect, a secure tunneling protocol for testing behind a firewall. "These SauceConnect Tunnels made it simple to provide one interface for anybody running any Codeception [UI framework] tests to access the services that they needed without the networking and security restrictions that came along with that,” said Gary White, Senior Software Engineer at Wayfair. SauceConnect eliminated the challenges of organizing work between teams.

Wayfair also needed to add Cypress to facilitate their automation scaling. By including Cypress in their testing process, over 80K lines of long term failure code were removed, clearing one third of Wayfair’s internal networking traffic. Additionally, this project removed a step in their deployment process that further increased bandwidth and supported more reliable Cypress and Selenium code. By implementing Cypress and Selenium into their testing process, Wayfair was able to create a more robust and scalable platform.

The Results

Improving deploy train, bandwidth, and empowering Developers 

Implementing Sauce Labs has been valuable for the Wayfair team, starting with their original transition to a UI testing framework, to their integration of Selenium, and now Cypress. With these changes, they’ve been able to empower developers who had previously been left feeling frustrated with an inconsistent solution. “Being able to provide things that help developers move faster is more important than being able to be a developer yourself,” White shared. Creating a development platform can leave a lot of people disappointed, but “with Selenium and Sauce [Labs], Wayfair is able to give power back to their developers just by focusing on being able to keep their services up while having time to maintain the platform.”

Mar 25, 2023
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