The pace of today’s digital world demands a new approach to software development and production operations. Consumers expect sophisticated digital products that are easy to use, secure, and available 24×7. Part of those expectations include a system that adapts to their evolving needs. To keep up with customer needs, most systems require teams of developers to be working in concert. To get the most out of these teams, many organizations are turning to continuous integration, a software development practice rooted in DevOps and agile methodologies. Continuous integration is the process of automating the building and testing of source code every time a developer checks in their code. This means that each time a developer makes a change, automated systems help them detect problems early.
As is the case with any new trend, some companies are skeptical of jumping on the continuous integration bandwagon. But CI is here to stay and can deliver tangible benefits to your organization.
Local testing can fail to show incompatibilities between existing code and newly introduced changes, which leads to production defects and delays. With CI, tests can be run in a simulated production environment that enables development teams to easily identify potential integration challenges before they turn into time-consuming production defects.
Increase test coverage
For complex systems, exclusively manual testing is out of the question. By following CI best practices, you profile the source code and identify areas without automated test coverage. Using this information, you can increase automated test coverage and reduce the possibility of defects.
Increase transparency across the team
CI facilitates easy communication by breaking down barriers and increasing visibility and awareness of build and test results. A transparent process can lead to improved accountability, coordination, and process execution among teams.
Automatically deploy code to production
Automated processes can deploy code to production after compilation and successful testing. By removing the human component, this deployment process reduces total testing time, helping development teams focus on critical functionality instead of repetitive testing tasks.
Reduced build time
Using CI, development teams can minimize build time by executing parallel builds–processing small build packages across multiple machines/containers. By harnessing virtual and cloud-based systems, teams can free up local resources to speed up development cycles and shorten feedback loops.
More consistent and repeatable processes
By relying on automated testing, teams establish reliable and repeatable processes using CI best practices. Development teams can keep up with the pace of business with the knowledge that code changes will be tested and integrated successfully when pushed to production.
Developers using continuous integration practices can shorten feedback loops by detecting bugs early on in the development process. Teams can quickly address broken builds and keep critical processes aligned to avoid delayed releases.
Successful execution of CI best practices can save valuable time and money over the lifespan of a project. Organizations should leverage these practices to speed up delivery and software development processes. Check out our DevOps services page to learn more about how 10Pearls incorporate continuous integration into our approach.