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I'd love to know more about why dropbox selected AST parsing compared to bytecode parsing. I think one advantage of bytecode parsing is it works with any language.
On a high level, (1) we collect the tests on a single node in CI. That node will then give the list of tests and the scripts to run. (2) Then the our CI system will spin up N nodes and order the balance each node. Each node then will build the apk and test apk.
In our internal CI system, it's not trivial to share artifacts between builds. Therefore, it's prudent (1) to be very fast. If we did bytecode parsing, it would slow down (1).