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Unit Testing and Continuous Integration with Pytest & Travis


1. Introduction to PyTest and Continuous Integration

Testing and Continuous Integration is at the heart of building good software. For this project we will be focus on writing tests for a given problem and use travis-ci for running the tests automatically everytime code is checked into Github.

Objectives: In this project we will explore

  • Introduction to unit testing with pytest
  • How to setup continuous integration with Github and Travis-CI

1.1. Setup Instructions

For doing this project you will need a Github account, a account and git installed locally.

1.1.1. Git and Github

After completing the steps below you should have a github account and be able to push your local changes to this repository to github.

The changes that you make as a part of this exercise, will be pushed to the fork you created for this repository.

In case you have already have created a fork of this repository in your github account, you will want to bring it up to date with the recent changes. In that case, you will need to do the following:

1.1.2. Travis setup

Continuous Integrration is a critical part of building your software. It automatically runs the tests when you check in code into your version control (git) and paves the way for continuous delivery, i.e. release often and release early. In this section we will set up a Continuous Integration pipeline with Travis-ci.

  • First, head over to
  • Sign in with your Github account, and accept the terms and conditions.
  • On success, you will be landing on your profile page that lists the CodingWorkshop repository
  • Once you have located the repo, toggle the button next to the repository to enable travis CI


If you have multiple repositories, you will have to search for the repository by typing in the name of the repository (CodingWorkshop) in the search bar on the dashboard page.

1.2. Python

This project has made no attempt to be compatible with Python 2.7. 😎

Recommended version: Python 3.6

1.3. Quick Git command refresher

Below are the few most used git commands

git checkout master          # checkout to master branch
git checkout -b feature/cool # crate a new branch feature/cool
git add -u                   # stage all the updates for commit
git commit -am "Adding changes and commiting with a comment"
git push origin master       # push commits to develop/ci branch

Note for this exercise, we will be working on the master branch directly. However, that is NOT the best practice. Branches are cheap in git, so a new feature or fix would first go to a branch, get tested, code reviewed and finally merged to master.

1.4. Exercise 0: Project Setup

After completing the steps in setup, you should have the cloned versoin of the fork of CodingWorkshop repository in your local machine. Lets take the time to look at the structure of this project. All code is located under /problems/py101/testing directory. So from your terminal go to the directory where you have cloned the repository.

cd path/to/clone/problems/py101/testing

Make sure you are in this directory for the remainder of this project.

Run pwd (cwd for Windows) on the command prompt to find out which directory you are on.

Your output should end in problems/py101/testing and contain the files described below.


This file is a simplified implementation of the problem of grouping the project night attendees into teams of four based on the number of lines of code they have written such that in each team, two team members have more lines of code than the other. This is the system under test.


This file is the test for the above module written using Pytest.

These two files mentioned above are the only two files that we will be making modifications to for this project.

1.4.3. Makefile

This file contains the commands that are required building the project. You can run make help to see what are the options.

1.4.4. Pipfile and Pipfile.lock

These two files are used by pipenv to create a virtual enviornment that isolates all the dependencies of this project from other python projects in your computer. Learn more about pipenv.

1.4.5. pytest.ini

This file contains the configuration for pytest.

1.4.6. travis.yml

In addition to all the files in this directory, located at the root of the repository, is a file called .travis.yml. This is used by the continuous intergration tool travis-ci. This contains the information on how to build this python project.

1.4.7. Test your setup is working

Just make a small edit on this file (, commit and push the changes.

git commit -am "Demo commit to check everything is working"
git push origin master

If gets triggered and is all green, your push has successfully ran through the linting and testing pipeline.

To display that badge of honor, click on the build button next on the travis page and select Markdown from the second dropdown. Copy the markdown code displayed and add it to the top of this file (


If you run into issues, ask your question on slack

1.5. Exercise 1: Build

From the /problems/py101/testing directory, run

  • Which packages got installed?
  • Which version of python is getting used?
  • How many tests pass, skipped and how long did it take?
  • Note a new directory htmlcov was created. We will revisit this in Exericse 5.
  • What is difference in output when you run the make command again?

1.6. Exercise 2: Run the program

Start by running


This will drop you to the program's interactive prompt. Below is a sample interaction where users named a, b, c, d, e and f are added using the add command. Following that, we run the print command where the users are grouped in to max of size four where two users have written less lines of code than the others.

t (master *) testing $ python
Welcome to Chicago Python Project Night Team Organizer
org> help

Documented commands (type help <topic>):
add  help  print

Undocumented commands:

org> help add
help add
Adds a new user. Needs Name slackhandle number_of_lines separated by space
org> add a @a 100
add a @a 100
org> add b @b 200
add b @b 200
org> add c @c 300
add c @c 300
org> add d @d 400
add d @d 400
org> add e @e 500
add e @e 500
org> add f @f 50
add f @f 50
org> print
['f, a, e, d']
b, c

1.7. Exercise 3: Running the tests


make test

This will run the tests in the file.


pipenv run pytest --help

Now check the flags that are present in the pytest.ini file against the output of the --help command to see what each one does.

1.8. Execrise 4: Coverage

When we first ran make, pytest created a directory called htmlcov that show you the coverage information about team_organizr,py code. Open the index.html file inside htmlcov to check the lines that has not been covered by the tests in the

What is the % coverage of the code at this point? Click on to see which lines are outside coverage.

1.9. Exercise 6: Fail, Fix, Pass

You are now all set to fix the tests. Goto and find test_add_a_person_with_lower_than_median test. Notice this test is skipped when run with pytest. To fix it remove the decorator pytest.mark.skip and run pytest again. Commit the code and run

make test

Make the necessary changes so that the test passes.

git commit -am "Fixed failing test"
git push origin master

Go to and inspect the output before and after fixing the test. What is the coverage value at this point?

1.10. Exercise 7: Fixtures

The purpose of test fixtures is to provide a fixed baseline upon which tests can reliably and repeatedly execute.

We are making use of two fixtures - one factory method person that churns out Persons as needed by organizer fixture.

test_count_number_of_teams is broken as well. How can you fix it?

Tip: To run a singe test, use

pipenv run pytest -k <name-of-test>

1.11. Exercise 8: Implement the tests

The two functions below have been left for you to implement.

  • test_add_a_person_who_has_never_written_code_before
  • test_add_two_person_with_same_name_but_different_slack_handles

Note the names of the tests are long and verbose to give you an idea of what what exactly you need to test.

Does implementing these tests have any effect on coverage results? Would it be still useful if there is no improvement in coverage?

1.12. Exercise 9: Implement the tests first, then implement the feature

For the following two tests, first implement the test that asserts the expected behavior. From the test name it should be evident from the test name. If you run the tests at this point, they should fail. Then go back to and implement the feature by changing the code. Once your implementation is complete, run make test.

  • test_adding_person_with_negative_lines_of_code_throws_exception
  • test_handle_duplicate_additions


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