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Cover image for Automating Project Maintenance on Github
Ravgeet Dhillon
Ravgeet Dhillon

Posted on • Originally published at ravsam.in on

Automating Project Maintenance on Github

Know about the Maintenance stack we use at RavSam to keep our projects updated and secure.

This blog was originally published on RavSam’s blog. We publish our articles on Medium after a week.

Contents

  • Manual Maintenance is tough and boring
  • Renovate β€Šβ€” β€ŠAutomated Dependency Updates
  • Imgbotβ€Š β€”β€Š Automated Image Optimization
  • RavSam Bot β€Šβ€” β€ŠA Github Probot App

Manual Maintenance is tough and boring

Most of the effort in the software business goes into the maintenance of the code that already exists. Once the software is built, many factors affect its performance over time. We need to fix bugs, address security vulnerabilities, make performance improvements, and decrease technical debt.

Managing a single piece of software is easy but as a developer, we often have to deal with more than one. And this is exactly where maintenance gets hard. The best way to handle Maintenance debt is to upgrade the dependencies on which our project depends regularly.

All these problems can be solved by automation. We at RavSam use Github for our code handling and CI/CD purposes. There are tools like Github Apps and Github Actions that allow us to automate our software maintenance.

Renovateβ€Š β€”β€Š Automated Dependency Updates

Renovate is one of those packages that make our idea of automated maintenance a reality. It is a free, open-source, customizable Github app that helps us to automatically update our dependencies in software projects by receiving pull requests and that too for multiple languages.

Dependency Updates by Renovate
Dependency Updates by Renovate

The best part is that we can write a single config and use it for all of our projects in our Github organization. Here is a config that we use at RavSam:

{
  "extends": ["config:base"],
  "labels": ["dependencies"],
  "major": {
    "enabled": false
  },
  "packageRules": [
    {
      "matchUpdateTypes": ["patch", "pin", "digest"],
      "automerge": true
    }
  ],
  "prCreation": "not-pending",
  "schedule": ["every weekend"],
  "stabilityDays": 3
}
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We have configured Renovate to run only on weekends to prevent noise and distractions. We have enabled auto-merge when the update type is one of the following: patch, pin or digest.

Imgbot β€Šβ€” β€ŠAutomated Image Optimization

The performance of a Web App is often dependent on the images. Hence it is crucial to optimize images or else lose customers. Another advantage of optimized images is that it reduces the bandwidth costs for us as well as our visitors.

We love Imgbot. It optimizes the images and creates a pull request against our default branch. Imgbot is verified by GitHub which means there is no point worrying about the security.

Images optimized by ImgBot
Images optimized by ImgBot

RavSam Botβ€Š β€” β€ŠA Github Probot App

We have built our custom serverless Github Probot, RavSam Bot, our employee #1. It helps us automate various tasks like managing issues by raising their priority, assigning confirmed issues to developers, assigning reviewers to the pull requests, auto-merging them once the changes have been approved and many more things.

Approved pull request merged by RavSam Bot
Approved pull request merged by RavSam Bot

Probot apps are easy to write, deploy, and share. We have deployed our app on Netlify Functions and it spends the entire day doing mundane tasks for us tirelessly.

If you loved my article, please clap πŸ‘ for it.

Connect with Me

I love writing for the community while working on my freelance and open source projects. Connect with me through Twitter β€’ LinkedIn β€’ Github β€’ Email.

About RavSam Web Solutions

We are helping startups and companies set up content management systems to manage their content delivery to customers across various products. Reach out to us to know more about our services, or anything else. We are always looking forward to work on great ideas. If you are looking for an application development company, you are most welcome to get in touch with us.

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