Continuous integration(CI) is the future of deployment for developers and organizations. If you have started using continuous integration(CI), you might not be sure if you are doing it right. In today’s article, we will be listing seven signs that you are mastering continuous integration. Many organization or developers fail to understand why CI is used in practice. That’s why it is common to see so many misconceptions regarding continuous development/integration in a work environment.
To be good at it, you need to follow certain practices associated with it. As it is built around DevOps, managers or developers, have to be extra careful and ensure that they achieve more with the CI approach. Let’s get started with the list below.
7 Signs You’re Mastering Continuous Integration
1. Do central builds and automate
The first thing that you need to do as a developer or an organization is to get your build on a central server. From there, you have to automate it and ensure that everything is properly set up. Continuous builds don’t work from a personal computer or a developer’s workplace where only partial solutions are deployed. In short, you need to deploy your build on a central server.
If the build is not centralized, it will cause a lot of issues. The central build should be able to work unattached and should also be automated so that the builds can be pushed automatically to the live server.
2. Build Frequently
The core idea behind continuous integration is to do it regularly. If you are doing multiple CI builds per day, you are already getting the grasp of the of what CI holds for you and your team. Generally, you should trigger the build on when there is a pull request, commit or merge. By doing so, you are finding errors as soon as they are deployed. This makes it easy for you to fix them.
In short, continuous integration is all the word, “continuous.” If you don’t build and deploy regularly, you will be not taking advantage of the what CI has to offer. To know if you are doing it right, you need to ask yourself questions on how you do “push-button.” daily, weekly or at a particular time.
3. Merge or commit frequently
If you are merging or committing changes daily or whenever a change occurs, you are on the right path to master CI. This makes your app services more reliable as they are frequently updated with changes and ensure that the users get the best experience possible. Also, not frequently merging will make the branch unnecessarily longer.
The longer branch, when merged later, can cause issues.
4. Build Quickly
Builds should be quick. This means anything from the range of 5-15 minutes is acceptable as it fits the philosophy of continuous integration. If your build is taking more than that, it is time to reflect on it.
There are many cases out there where an organization has a build time of more than 2-3 hours. That’s unacceptable on many levels. Also, longer build time can easily lead developers to deploy deployment. If the deployment is delayed, the developers will get feedback later, slowing the whole process. Also, not deploying frequently can also lead to more chances of adding broken code.
As a developer, your job is to find the issue and do a proper validation time on your build. You might have to decompose the whole CI build process. From there, you have to ensure that the components align properly and validate each part accordingly. If done right, the build time can come down to acceptable numbers.
5. Build Validation
The organization should always include build validation in their CI process. This means validating the resulting built and also the changes that are made into it. If you are not doing proper validation, you are not truly following CI and you should not only rely on software links and complies confirmation.
Your team should also include proper testing code before doing continuous integration. For example, your team can do proper unit testing before pushing the migrate button.
6. Maintain consistency
Another practice that you must follow while mastering the continuous integration is to maintain consistency among different builds. This can include test, dev and pre-production environments. To do so, you should use a virtualization service to your advantage and perform validation every time a build is moved from one platform to another. Not only that, but the development team should also validate in a production-like environment to get the best out of their CI process. This will ensure that the builds have minimal errors and it will also minimize the risk of errors passing through builds.
7. Broken Builds should be fixed immediately
Last, but not the least, you should never ignore broken build. If you do, you are building up to a bigger problem later down the line. When CI takes place, the process is build up before build validation. It should be done continuously. If a broken build is left off, it dives deep into the pipeline which makes it even harder for the developer to find it and fix it later.
So, the next time you find a broken build, ensure that it is solved before proceeding further.
When it comes to continuous integration, it is not about the practices, but also about the team culture and how they look at CI. These seven signs will help you understand if you have mastered continuous integration.
Also, it all about maintains a healthy culture in your organization. Any organization that cannot keep up with all the above tips will have a hard time in maintaining CI integration. It will lead to issues later on which in turn will consume more time and resources from the organization part. Also, team members keep changing from time to time. Proper training needs to be provided to the candidate to ensure that new members can adapt to the whole CI integration process,
So, what do you think about continuous integration? Have you mastered it based on the seen signs we have discussed? Comment below and share your experience with us.