…or how I found out who broke JIRA’s coverage build last night.
JIRA’s Clover Code Coverage build is scheduled to run once a day. Yesterday someone checked in something that broke 194 tests. The problem is there were 18 commits by 7 unique authors and none of the commits come with a helpful message like “Warning, this commit is the one that will break the coverage build!”
To try to narrow down which of the commits was the problem, I decided to use an automated bisection of commits.
git comes with a built-in utility called bisect. This isn’t unique to git. You can even do it with subversion via svn-bisect. The idea is that you tell it a good revision and a bad revision and then git helps you perform a binary search to narrow down exactly which commit broke things.
I knew that things were working yesterday so I found a git commit that I knew was good.
And I know that HEAD is currently broken. At this point git tells me there are 15 revisions to test.
Then I give git an automated test to run and let it go through revisions to figure out when the break occurred. I picked just one of the failing tests rather than running the entire suite to speed up the process.
The setup took less than 60 seconds. “git bisect run” took 1 minute, 41 seconds to bisect the revisions. In under three minutes I knew who had made the bad commit.
Hmmm…looks like it was me. Damn.