Taking the initiative to help build better digital experiences

Eliga’s Application Developer, Ben Heiderman, took it upon himself to improve on the features of Deno – an open-source software. With his enthusiasm for creating delightful digital environments, he was able to implement an integral snapshot testing feature to support better digital experiences.


What are Deno and snapshot testing?

Deno is a modern JavaScript runtime. Co-created by Ryan Dahl, who is also the creator of Node.js, it embraces best practices, putting a particular emphasis on issues like security, scalability, and software testing.

Snapshot testing is a tool which lends itself to testing complex units of code. In essence, it allows developers to write better tests with less code. A core capability is registering any changes to the output, which occurs when code is run from one iteration to the next.


The familiar progressive approach of Deno

Since its release in August 2018, Deno has challenged many assumptions within the developer community. One example is its approach to software testing, which Deno considers to be an essential part of modern software development.


“It’s intuitive initiatives like Ben’s awareness and drive to improve his field that allows Eliga to offer our clients the most progressive and robust digital transformations.”


Ben strongly shares this view. And it’s one that Eliga considers to be fundamental for providing quality user experiences. Put simply, without thorough testing, great software and technology are not possible.

It’s this progressive and methodical approach that makes Ben such a great fit for the Eliga team and an integral part of our successes and growth. As a tech-focused business consultancy, two of our key pillars are operational transformation and change management. It’s intuitive initiatives like Ben’s awareness and drive to improve his field that allows Eliga to offer our clients the most advanced and robust digital transformations.



The journey to implementing snapshot testing for Deno

Unlike other platforms that leave the implementation of test frameworks to its community, Deno offers a production-ready test framework out of the box. However, this framework was lacking some important features, and one of these was the snapshot testing feature.

The road to snapshot testing for Deno originated in January 2020. Originally, the feature was suggested on GitHub. Unfortunately, there was a divide in the community on the issue at the time. Therefore, it was shelved due to a lack of consensus or viable implementation.

Fast-forward almost two years… Ben decided to make use of Deno while working on transitioning a project to a new infrastructure.

Ben could see that Deno was an extremely powerful tool. But due to the immaturity of the ecosystem, writing tests was a pain point. In fact, snapshot testing only existed in the form of abandoned third-party features – a common problem with open-source libraries.


“Without thorough testing, great software and technology are not possible. It’s fundamental for providing quality user experiences.”


While researching among the Github community, Ben realised that implementing a new library would not be enough. Simply, the demand and importance of snapshot testing called for it to be a core feature.


The importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing

Full of enthusiasm, Ben set to work. Supported by Deno’s maintainers, he began the complex process of figuring out how the feature could be successfully implemented.

Soon after starting, Ben began collaborating on the project with a fellow developer who had concurrently contributed to the inception of the feature. Realising the benefits of this partnership, the duo combined the best of their implementations, resulting in swift progress.

Towards the end of the project, Ben assumed the role of primary developer to ensure achieving the targeted release was possible.

He successfully finished the feature. And this was in time for it to be part of the latest version – Deno 1.21.

Ben continues to actively work on improving the feature. His goal is to innovate beyond the current gold standard in snapshot testing.


“I will look back on this experience as an example of the strength of collaboration and the importance of involving multiple parties in design and implementation.”

—Ben Heiderman


As an agile digital transformation consultancy, our specialist disciplines at Eliga include product testing and development.


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