I discovered the true power of github actions 2 weeks ago when starting a new project at work. Prior to this, I have been using circleci to run my linting, typescript check, tests and then deployment. I was happy with this setup but was keen to learn what github actions have to offer. I was pleasantly suprised with the results.
Now I see linting and typescript errors in the PR in the UI! I no longer have to context jump to another tool to check build failures, which is a huge win. Check my demo repo to see this in action (excuse the pun).
The way github actions is setup is similar with circleci.
At the root of your repo for e.g:
projectRoot/.github/workflows/main.yml create the following:
on: [push] jobs: lint: runs-on: ubuntu-latest name: Run eslint steps: - uses: actions/checkout@v1 - uses: actions/setup-node@v1 with: node-version: '13.x' - run: yarn - run: yarn lint tsc: runs-on: ubuntu-latest name: Check typescript steps: - uses: actions/checkout@v1 - uses: actions/setup-node@v1 with: node-version: '13.x' - run: yarn - run: yarn tsc
A workflow consists of jobs. A job consists of steps. Each job runs in its own docker container.
You might wonder why I have 2 jobs here instead of 1. The reason is speed. Jobs are run in parallel by default so it could be faster to run some steps in parallel like linting and tsc. In the case where a job needs to depend on another you can use the needs keyword:
jest: runs-on: ubuntu-latest name: Run tests needs: [lint, tsc] # ensure tests are run only after eslint and tsc pass steps: - uses: actions/checkout@v1 - uses: actions/setup-node@v1 with: node-version: '13.x' - run: yarn - run: yarn test
And wait. Github will schedule your workflow to run at some point. In my experience this has been fast, but there is one time when I had to make an extra push on a non-master branch to initiate github actions.
That's it! Now if you submit a PR you will be able to see linting and typescript errors in the UI itself:
I love github actions. It provides immediate compile and build feedback in the UI without having to context change to another tool. It's easy to setup and it's fast. There is a marketplace offering many custom actions you can include in your workflow. Some of the interesting ones are jest code coverage, size-plugin and pull-request-size.
There are still issues though. The marketplace actions are mostly un-verified which mean they could be buggy and unmaintained. Going with a verified action is best but no guarantee that things are bug free. For example I find the typescript line number annotation in my demo PR is wrong. The pricing is also something you might want to consider. Github actions are free for public repos but are priced according to minutes for private repos. The free tier for private repos includes 2000 minutes per month.
All the code in this post are in the demo repo.
Thanks for reading!