A Quick-Start Guide to Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery
Continuous integration and continuous delivery incorporate a set of operating principles, values, and collection of practices. These allow development teams to deliver changes more regularly and reliably. This is the CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery) pipeline.
What Is Continuous Integration?
Continuous integration (CI) is an approach whereby development teams merge code into a shared repository several times a day. The repository automatically builds and tests the code to verify its integrity.
What Is Continuous Delivery?
Continuous delivery (CD) is a strategy that allows developers to ensure they’re ready to release the software at any time. Every time there’s a commit, developers automatically test the software to make sure they can release it into production.
What Are the Benefits of CI/CD?
1. Easy to Change and Debug
It’s easy to change and debug code when there are smaller pieces to work with. Developers can test these pieces of code as they continuously integrate them with the code repository.
2. Faster Release and Delivery
CI/CD increases the speed of code release and delivery. As a result, software releases become more reliable and frequent.
3. Better Code Quality
Developers test small chunks of code at the point of integration with the code repository. This increases the code's quality. Also, the development process is more reliable and secure. The CI/CD pipeline also reduces the amount of work that goes into integration and testing. This means developers can now focus on producing better code.
4. Cost Reduction
CI/CD automates development and testing. As a result, it reduces the effort that goes into testing and integration. This saves developers tons of time and, consequently, saves the organization money.
5. More Flexibility
CI/CD makes it easier for developers to detect and fix errors in code. It also allows for more frequent product releases. As a result, it becomes easier to add and release new features.
CI/CD Best Practices
Some best practices in the CI/CD process enhance the performance of the whole process. Sticking to these practices can help organizations avoid common pitfalls. Here are the CI/CD best practices:
1. CI/CD Should Be the Only Way to Deploy Code to Production
In CI/CD, the system immediately detects errors and stops production until developers have fixed them. This mechanism keeps the production environment safe from buggy code.
2. Developers Should Run the Fastest Tests Earliest
There are some tests the system can run faster than others. Developers should run these tests first to find errors and start fixing them as soon as possible.
3. Test Code Locally Before Committing to the CI/CD Pipeline
Developers should habitually run a test on their code locally before committing to the shared repository or CI/CD pipeline. This helps in troubleshooting the software problems before they can affect others.
4. Keep the CI/CD Pipelines Fast
CI/CD pipelines are a critical component of the CI/CD process. The pipelines are responsible for faster delivery and a faster integration process. Organizations should always be looking to find ways and methods to increase the speed and optimize the pipeline environment.
CI/CD is one of the best practices for DevOps teams. It’s an agile methodology that facilitates the development team to achieve the best code quality, security, and other business requirements. It’s convenient for both developers and organizations because of its automated steps of deployment.
Talk to Gina and team at Gibson Group to help you coach and lead your teams to CI/CD success.