Jonathan Freeman

Warehouse Discounts

The best JavaScript testing tools for React

Several years into widespread JavaScript fatigue, the front-end ecosystem isn’t getting any smaller or simpler. The world of front-end testing is also expanding, and the tools tend to be opinionated from framework to framework. This is sort of a double-edged sword. One the one hand, picking a framework narrows the testing options we have to choose from. On the other hand, testing stacks are less portable across frameworks, so we may have to learn a whole new set of tools with each new project.

In general, there are three structural layers to testing in JavaScript: test runners, test frameworks, and assertion libraries. Every testing setup requires each layer, although sometimes these layers will be consolidated into a single tool. For example, Jasmine is both an assertion library and a test framework. Beyond having to cover each of these structural components, you will typically add other useful tools to your testing stack, such as mocking libraries and code coverage tools. Below, I’ll lay out the most common tools used in React testing and how to go about choosing which ones are right for you.

Review: GitLab rocks version control

If you’ve spent any time evaluating software version-control systems, you have undoubtedly looked at GitHub Enterprise and Bitbucket Server[1], two big names that offer both on-premises installs and a SaaS option. You also should have run into GitLab, an open source project backed by the company of the same name. GitLab is available in a free community edition, paid enterprise and hosted editions, and a free SaaS offering that includes the enterprise features. Though less of a household name, GitLab is a compelling alternative to its more popular rivals.

Running on top of a built-in Git server, GitLab gives you a full-featured UI for managing users, projects, and code, and it even includes a built-in continuous integration solution. Best of all are GitLab’s many thoughtful usability features that make life easier for the busy developer. Despite some speed or performance issues you may run into with large installations, GitLab is not only a solid choice for managing code on-premises, but one that users will love.


  1. ^ GitHub Enterprise and Bitbucket Server (
  2. ^ 20 essential pointers for Git and GitHub (
  3. ^ Application Development newsletter (

First look: Chef’s Habitat puts automation in the app

Deploying new software to production can be hard — really hard. If you’re among the many businesses adopting new infrastructure and deployment technology today, you’re keenly aware of how difficult it can be. Even as you adopt modern devops tools to streamline development, test, deployment, and ongoing management, and to bring development and operations teams closer together, it often seems you’re only creating new silos.

The fundamental problem is that all of the information critical to each application’s lifecycle — build dependencies, runtime dependencies, configuration settings — remain scattered across separate tools devoted to separate stages of the application lifecycle. An open source project called Habitat, from the people who brought us Chef, promises a better way, one that cuts across all of these silos. 


  1. ^ essential guide to microservices (
  2. ^ InfoWorld Daily newsletter (
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