Custom software development is a complex process that takes time and requires precision. The team must be able to collaborate effectively across departments to deliver new features and bug fixes quickly and reliably.
There are a number of techniques to achieve that result, but today we’ll be looking at how to ensure reliability and stable delivery with continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) pipelines.
What is CI/CD?
Continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) are two software development practices that work together to automate the software delivery process. CI ensures that code changes are integrated frequently and automatically, while CD ensures that those changes are delivered to production quickly and reliably.
CI is a practice of integrating code changes frequently and automatically. This helps to ensure that code changes are compatible with each other and that the application is always in a working state.
CI typically involves the following steps:
- Code is checked out of the source control repository.
- The code is built into a deployable artifact.
- Unit tests are run to verify that the code works as expected.
If any unit tests fail, the code is not merged into the main branch. This helps to prevent breaking changes from being introduced into the application.
CD is a practice of delivering software changes to production quickly and reliably. This helps to ensure that customers have access to the latest features and bug fixes as soon as possible.
CD typically involves the following steps:
- Unit tests.
- Integration tests.
- Acceptance tests.
- The application is deployed to production.
If any tests fail, the application is not deployed to production. This helps to ensure that the application is stable and meets the requirements of users and customers.
What Are the Benefits of CI/CD?
CI/CD pipelines can help to improve reliability in a number of ways. First, they help to ensure that code changes are tested before they are deployed to production. This can help to identify and fix bugs before they cause problems in production. Second, CI/CD pipelines can help to automate the deployment process. This can help to reduce the risk of human error during deployment.
Reduced time to market
First, CI/CD pipelines help to automate the build and deployment process. This can free up developers to focus on other tasks, such as developing new features. Second, CI/CD pipelines can help to identify and fix bugs early in the development process. This can help to reduce the amount of time that is needed to fix bugs in production.
CI/CD pipelines can provide a common platform for development and operations teams to work together. They can also help to automate the deployment process. This can help to reduce the amount of manual work that is required from operations teams.
Challenges of implementing CI/CD
Changing the culture of the development team: CI/CD requires a change in the way that development teams work. Teams need to be willing to automate their processes and work together more closely.
Choosing the right tools and technologies: There are a number of tools and technologies available to help teams implement CI/CD. It is important to choose the right tools and technologies for the specific needs of the team.
Lack of resources: Implementing CI/CD can require a significant investment of time and resources. Teams need to make sure that they have the resources they need and manage software development budget well to successfully implement CI/CD.
Technical debt: Teams may need to address technical debt before they can implement CI/CD. Technical debt is code that is not well-written or well-organized. It can make it difficult to automate the build and deployment process.
Resistance from stakeholders: Stakeholders, such as product managers or customers, may be resistant to change. Teams need to work with stakeholders to understand their concerns and address them.
CI/CD is a powerful tool that can help software development teams to improve the quality, reliability, and speed of their software delivery.
- CI/CD can help to improve reliability by ensuring that code changes are tested before they are deployed to production.
- CI/CD can help to reduce time to market by automating the build and deployment process.
- CI/CD can help to improve collaboration between development and operations teams by providing a common platform for them to work together.
Let us know if you have additional questions about these practices and whether you need to implement them in your business for custom software development!