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What to expect when you adopt continuous integration?

October 28, 2017

The role of continuous integration in DevOps

A large number of organizations have now embraced the DevOps approach. They do so to take advantage of a critical opportunity to transform their business. Continuous Integration is one of the cornerstones of DevOps. Why? It is a proven practice to enhance code quality and build better software in a predictable and reliable manner.

CI is considered a best practice to get rid of the siloed development approach. Delayed integration results in several merge conflicts, hard-to-fix defects, duplication of efforts, rework and conflicting code strategies. CI ensures that the development team’s code is updated to a shared repository to prevent these problems.

CI is a widely acclaimed concept with multiple benefits for organizations like faster time to market, enhanced productivity and lower cost of development. But successful adoption of CI is a different story. What are some of the implementation challenges that organizations face with CI?

Integration of CI to existing development flow

Any change comes at a price and changing part of your development workflow to integrate CI is not easy. Changing the workflow needs handling with care or it could impact the team’s efficiency and quality, at least at first. Needless to say, it requires leadership support and direction for the development team to be completely on board.

Too many cooks

Implementing CI across several large teams can create an awkward mess. There is a risk in the deployment stage when too many teams/people are involved. However, breaking the teams up into smaller groups can work well.

 

Version control

Maintaining version control is sometimes more difficult than it looks. Lack of maintenance of version control leads to a whole set of different problems and issues with the software development. The preferred model of CI server setup is using a version control system that records the changes at a pre-decided interval. The integrity of development and CI both depend on accurate version control.

 

Disconnected DevOps toolsets

Despite Agile practices many companies still use outdated testing and release practices, using manual testing silos and release processes where there is a need for automation.

 

Reliability

Repeatable and reliable test results are important to the success of CI.  Therefore, treating failures as ‘expected’ or putting them on the back-burner intermittently, can blindside developers towards larger issues.  Therefore, you often might end up missing valid bugs.

Moving forward

The CI practice is in place to build an effective automation environment. Hence, we can make sure that businesses can be more agile and efficient, avoiding risky, expensive merges. Continuous Integration practice is not just running a tool or a server but more about the workflow to make sure that your vision and reality match up.

If you are looking for a testing tool that integrates with a CI server like Jenkins then, QMetry Test Management for JIRA could be your answer. Leverage continuous integration for automated builds and tests with the help of QMetry Test Management.

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Deepak Parmar
Head – Marketing & Channel Management
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