Continuous integration is an important process, yet some are hesitant to implement it. The reason is that some developers believe the process can create extra steps or take more time. However, with proper implementation, continuous improvement can actually make your workload easier.
Even so, decision makers have the attitude that if the process isn’t broken, then why make changes. When it comes to making these types of changes in the workflow, it’s very difficult to see the benefits in the end.
So, we’ve put together a list of benefits you can expect from implementing continuous integration. But first, we’ll take a look at what continuous integration is.
What is Continuous Integration?
Continuous integration is a method that uses agile practices to provide high quality and project flexibility through automation. It works by looking to find bugs and issues fast, providing each developer with feedback on the work they’ve done, along with the test evaluations on that work. The code is built and tested until it passes the tests.
Plus, when a new addition is made to the code, the test results are compiled along with the previous test results. This way, you can continue the build knowing the new additions to the code won’t break the functioning of the previous versions that came before. In addition, when there is a problem, it’s fast and easy to let developers know their code has caused a problem.
This method allows a team and the software to work together on the changes. Continuous integration makes the team more agile and able to respond quickly to changes. It also makes sure the hardware and software are in constant sync. And when some code doesn’t integrate, then it’s quickly found.
Teams are able to work more effectively using this agile method. Not only that, but they can perform other tasks and they don’t have to work in the same location. This is because continuous integration ensures there are deviations in the work.
Benefits of Continuous Integration
1). Decrease Risk
You may hear from others that continuous integration worked perfectly for them. However, each development environment differs, and your local environment may have some significant differences from where you push to production. Continuous integration keeps risks to a minimum through testing and enabling production parity.
Plus, QA tasks can also be automated, further minimizing the risk that a bug will go all the through to the live site.
When using an excellent test suite, and the code passes all the tests, then you can be confident no bugs are being shipped out. It takes being transparent with the process and educating the team and clients to gain the confidence of clients that your team can be trusted.
3). Team Communication
Continuous integration makes it easier to include other tools and services your team uses to develop code. With tools like Slack, it’s possible to create a channel for each specific project. When there’s an issue, then continuous integration can send a message as and when they occur.
This way managers and other stakeholders will have an easier time if they know it’s possible to check with one channel, rather than searching for the right developer to see what’s gone out.
4). Reduces Overhead
Development hours are generally billable; but what about time for manual deploying code or files? Automating large parts of the process will free up time for billable hours. That’s something your team will agree with!
In addition, automated testing helps you find bugs early, rather than in QA, production, or having a client find them.
And it’s easier for new developers on the team to get up to speed and working faster since they don’t have to learn each step in the process, since this is being taken care of by continuous integration.
5). No Broken Code Ships
Continuous integration is a process that tests code and only merges it when everything has passed all tests. This means the likelihood of bad code shipping out to production. And if there is a problem, the continuous integration system will send alerts that there’s a problem.
6). Code Review Time is Decreased
With the automated continuous integration system, you’ll be able to quickly communicate with the team and let them know about merge requests, that tests have been passed, and the code has met all requirements.
This all works to decrease the amount of time code spends in the review process.
Summing It Up
Continuous integration has many benefits to offer a business. Not only is it faster to bring products to market, but it’s also easier to respond to requirements and changes that are introduced while the product is still in development. The outcome is a better product, and a customer who is happy.
There’s really no need to fear that continuous integration will increase the workload. Just the opposite, adding continuous integration to the process will make the work go faster, cut down on bugs shipping out, and lead to a better product overall.