How we use GitHub Actions for continuous integration and automation

What GitHub Actions do

We use GitHub Actions on to perform the following tasks:

  • Run automated lint checkers
  • Run automated unit tests
  • Measure unit test coverage
  • Build and deploy this documentation to GitHub on the gh-pages branch.
  • Clean up stored artifacts

How GitHub Actions are configured

We use the following constraints to optimize our CI builds for speed and utility:

  • Our linting and unit tests run on pull requests only, including subsequent pushes to a pull request's branch. Tests are not run on the main branch.
  • Our documentation is deployed on merges and pushes to the main branch only, and not on pull requests.
  • We do not run builds of any kind on any other branches that are not main, and that are not pull request branches.
  • We store coverage artifacts in between the unit test jobs and the coverage jobs. This requires us to run an action every hour using the purge-artifacts action to clean up these stored artifacts.

We use a combination of:

Our workflows are defined in our .github/workflows directory.

An extra task for satellite repositories

For our satellite apps, we use GitHub Actions (or Travis, if a repo hasn't been migrated to Actions yet) to build and attach a deployment wheel file to every release.

An example is the .whl file on this release of the retirement app.