Are you familiar with the term continuous development? If not, that’s OK. However, you’ve more than likely been part of this process and didn’t even realize it!
Here’s a quick example. Google’s always releasing updates and releasing new features for their apps and products. Because they’ve followed the same process for years, they’ve been able to decrease the time it takes to build, test and release new features. Throughout this process Google’s also been able to maintain a high standard of quality in their products/apps.
That’s just one example. There are many companies who use this same method to develop and deploy software updates, new products, and more.
What is Continuous Development?
Continuous development is the process that describes an iterative process of software development. This umbrella covers other processes, too, including continuous integration, continuous testing, continuous delivery and continuous deployment.
The whole aim of this process is to automate and streamline the process of described above—development, integration, and more.
What are the Benefits of Continuous Development?
Because the software industry is so competitive, it’s challenging for companies to stay ahead of the competition. Using continuous development makes it easy to get a code out fast, without a lengthy period between development and deployment.
Here are the benefits of using continuous development:
- Product is better quality: because this method uses automated tests and user behavior feedback to improve software, the whole process can be done much faster.
- Risk avoidance: developers or companies who have a high level of risk avoidance benefit from continuous development. That’s because rather than launching large, unsuccessful products, small changes can be made and tested quickly, which go to improve the product quickly without causing major issues.
- Faster delivery of new features: continuous development makes it easier and faster to develop and deploy new features using automated process. Automated tests can quickly find issues and bugs, then fix them almost immediately.
- Less resources required: when you have to deal with large updates, they can take quite a bit of labor with coding, deploying, and testing. However, continuous development uses automated process that make the process more efficient, while it decreases the amount of time/labor needed for deployment.
- Increased productivity: because the feedback loop is shorter, it’s easier for developers to stay busy making improvements and optimizing the software.
What’s Involved with Continuous Development?
In the previous section, we say that continuous development uses several different processes. In this section, we’ll take a look at each process and explain what the process involves.
- Continuous integration: this is the process of continually adding new code commits to the source code. Each member of the development team adds in their source code on a regular basis. This is then shared in the repository.
- Continuous deployment: is similar and sometimes used interchangeably with “continuous delivery.” This is a process that uses an automated process that starts when the code is completed and then through each testing phase. When the code passes all the tests, it is delivered to a staging environment, where it will be manually tested.
- Continuous testing: ensures the code is high quality and is being delivered and deployed. It’s during this process that automated tests are run to make sure there is minimal risk to being released. This helps code that’s passed the tests to be developed faster.
How to Create a Continuous Development System
It can be challenging to set up a continuous development system; however, this is a great way to save money, time, and effort to build, test and release new code. To make the process easier to set up, you can follow these steps:
1). Implement an Agile/Scrum System
This type of system relies on accurate and efficient system for planning and tracking tasks. For this reason, an agile/scrum system can work to ensure each member of the team knows what tasks to do and how these tasks relate to the overall project.
2). Use Git Repository for Code Base
Git is used to manage a project, which is usually a set of files. It monitors the changes of the files over time, and then stores the information in a database called a “repository.”
This is a great way to keep source code organized, especially if there are several developers building and making code changes.
3). Write Tests
When the requirements for a new feature are determined, develops can then write a test. The test will automatically test the new feature before it’s deployed. If the new feature doesn’t pass the test, then you and use feedback to make any required changes to the code.
4). Connect Git Repository to DeployBot
This is to help with automated deployment. This software makes it easy for developers to automatically deploy their code into a live environment, after all tests have been passed.
5). Configure DeployBot
This is the method to prepare an automated deployment with each new release. DeployBot makes it easy to deploy new code manually, or setup to deploy the changes.
If you’d like more information on continuous development, then reach out today and give us a call. We’ll help with any questions you may have. We’re looking forward to working with you!