Front-end Testing for Skeptics

RailsConf 2013

Paul Graham once quipped that "Web 2.0" really meant "JavaScript now works". Nearly ten years later, more and more functionality of our web applications is written in JavaScript. But for those of us who came of age when JavaScript was unreliable, it's been preferable to test the server-side, while leaving the UI a thin-as-possible shell. Testing the front-end was error prone and brittle.

However, when you're delivering a JavaScript widget hundreds of thousands of times a day on diverse third party websites, it needs to work. So: we need to test it, and those tests need to be as painless as possible to write and maintain.

This is a session for front-end testing skeptics (like me): It is possible to create tests that drive your web UI (JavaScript and all) that are automated, fast, reliable, headless -- no browser required -- and written in pure Ruby instead of some obtuse syntax. We'll explore the challenges and gotchas of testing the front-end and walk through an example that meets the above goals.

All talks by Luke Francl