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Enhance CI Pipelines with Dagger and Okteto Preview Environments for a Better Developer Experience

image with blog title "enhance ci pipelines for a better developer experience" with the logos of the okteto and dagger companyimage with blog title "enhance ci pipelines for a better developer experience" with the logos of the okteto and dagger company

Continuous Integration (CI) is a cornerstone of modern software development, ensuring that code changes are automatically tested and merged, reducing the risk of introducing bugs into the main codebase. Dagger, a programmable CI/CD engine, simplifies managing complex CI pipelines by running them in containers. However, an often overlooked but crucial aspect of CI is the ability to preview and interact with application changes before they are merged into production. This is where Okteto’s Preview Environments shine, offering a significant enhancement to your CI workflow and overall Developer Experience (DevX).

The Current Challenge: Visualizing and Testing Changes Pre-Merge

While Dagger simplifies CI pipelines, it doesn’t inherently solve the problem of previewing changes in a realistic environment before they are merged. Developers frequently face challenges like:

  1. Lack of Interactive Previews: Developers need a way to see and interact with their changes before merging. Traditional CI setups typically run tests but don't provide a live preview environment.
  2. Environment Consistency: Ensuring that tests run in environments identical to production is critical for accurate feedback and the fastest workflow. Running code in pipelines often differs from production, leading to potential issues post-deployment.
  3. Inclusive Feedback: CI workflows usually focus on developer feedback, leaving out crucial input from design, marketing, and product teams until changes reach staging or production.

Ultimately, these challenges all make it harder for teams to iterate and ship fast and lead to poor development experience within organizations.

The Solution: Insert Okteto Preview Environments

By including Okteto Preview Environments into the CI process, DevOps teams can address these challenges by automating a shareable URL for each pull request, allowing reviews before merge. Code is deployed in your branch on an actual Kubernetes cluster using all the same configuration as production, ensuring you get the most reliable feedback on how your code would look when pushed to production.

This approach allows developers and stakeholders to interact with the application before merging, ensuring that feedback is gathered early and accurately. The consistency between the preview and production eliminates discrepancies, while inclusive feedback from all departments accelerates the review process and improves the overall quality of the code.

Integrating Okteto Preview Environments with Dagger CI/CD

If you're already using Dagger to manage the CI pipelines for your cloud native applications, you can instantly start leveraging the benefits of Preview Environments as well. The main benefits you get are:

  • Better DevX: Your team members can now see a working copy of their code changes before it even gets merged. This makes it easy to get feedback from others and iterate faster.
  • Automated Testing: You can run your testing suite against these preview environment endpoints in your Dagger pipeline to be sure that your changes work as expected without having to wait for staging, test, or any other pre-prod environment. Dagger makes it very easy to integrate tests with Preview Environments using other modules like Cypress, etc. You can even write your own module for any testing tool you might use if it’s not available on the Daggerverse already.
  • Broad Compatibility: Another great benefit of Dagger is that it runs on any CI engine. You can leverage the benefits of Okteto’s Preview Environments on popular CI providers/tools like GitHub Actions, GitLab CI, Jenkins, Circle CI, and all other providers Dagger supports!

How To Get Started with Okteto and Dagger

To help Dagger users quickly adopt Preview Environments, we developed the Okteto Dagger Module. Here’s how you can get started:


Incorporating Okteto Preview Environments into your Dagger CI/CD pipelines transforms your development workflow by enabling pre-merge previews, ensuring environment consistency, and fostering more cross-department feedback. This integration not only enhances the Developer Experience but also accelerates your team’s ability to iterate and ship high-quality software efficiently.

Try it out today and experience the benefits of combining Dagger and Okteto for a best-in-class CI/CD setup and DevX.

Arsh SharmaDeveloper Experience Engineer / Emojiologist 😜View all posts
Ashlynn PericachoMarketing / Mom-in-training 👩‍👦View all posts

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