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How LayerX Security Uses Raftt to Improve Quality and Velocity

The Raftt Team
September 21, 2023
 min read

## About LayerX

LayerX Browser Security Platform was purpose-built to monitor, analyze, and protect against web-borne cyber threats and data risks. Delivered as an enterprise browser extension, LayerX natively integrates with any browser, transforming it into the most secure and manageable workspace – while maintaining top user experience. Using LayerX, customers gain comprehensive protection against all browsing risks and threats that either target the browser directly or attempt to utilize it as a bridge to the organization’s devices, apps, and data.

## The Challenge - Deploying with Confidence

LayerX’s engineers have to handle the challenges of an application composed of a web app, a browser extension, and a complex backend. Such an environment was difficult to replicate in a way that provides a decent developer experience while also keeping it similar enough to the production environment, says Ronen Pinko, LayerX’s Head of R&D.

Before using Raftt, developers ran specific services locally, and tested the behavior using unit tests. The code was later deployed to staging for more comprehensive testing, and then deployed to production.

According to Ronen, this workflow made testing code in a full environment a cumbersome process. Errors and bugs sometimes broke the shared environments. As the problems were identified late in the SDLC, it took a long time to fix them, and there was a lot of overhead involved. The whole situation made it harder to verify that the quality of code merged into main is high enough, and that release candidates are really release-ready.

LayerX tried to set up local Kubernetes environments using different tools, but it required significant maintenance, involved delicate handling of which code is running where, and it ended up not being reliable enough.

## The Solution - Developing On Production-like Envs with Raftt

When looking for a solution, LayerX had 3 main requirements

- It must be seamless - there should be no delay or context switching required between coding and testing.
- It must use production-like environments - to regain confidence, code must be tested on full envs before being merged into main.
- The cost must be reasonable.

Raftt’s solution met all these requirements. The remote environments are continually and seamlessly synced, creating a very fast code→test→fix dev loop that requires no commit/CI/merge. The envs are based on the same definitions used for production, so the feedback during development is of a much higher quality than previously possible.

## The Outcome - Increased Quality and Velocity

Ronen mentioned that his tech-lead was initially skeptical about Raftt actually providing the promised value, but after an initial effort of onboarding the LayerX project to Raftt, the entire team was impressed with the solution.

Raftt lets LayerX engineers develop and test their code on production-like environments while keeping high development velocity and great DevX. The devs can now produce higher-quality code and far fewer bugs are found late in the SDLC. “But it works on my machine”, was never heard once we started using Raftt.

The introduction of Raftt to the team went very easily - the onboarding was immediate and seamless, and the devs saw the value from the get-go. It quickly became an indispensable part of the team’s toolbelt.

In summary, migrating to using Raftt as the primary dev environment allowed the LayerX dev team to develop at a high velocity while making the code validation process significantly easier, which led to higher code quality and increased ability to release with confidence.

The Raftt Team

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