If we were to sum up the benefits of continuous integration (CI) in only one word, that would be quality. Our development teams use CI to achieve excellence and deliver outstanding results faster. Looking further into the practice methodology of continuous integration and the benefits it delivers, here are our top 7:
#1. Faster time-to-market
An automated pipeline of continuous delivery ensures that only good quality code makes it all the way through. As such, it helps to build a robust development work flow where fixing bugs and improving quality is at the heart of the system, and this level of quality control speeds up time-to-market.
#2. Faster development lifecycles
In standard development cycles, some developers write code, run a few tests and pass the code to someone else to verify it. That’s inefficient, it damages quality and hampers knowledge sharing within the team. CI provides a new lease of life for the developer process. The main difference is that the steps when the CI server detects the new commit and runs a new build
and when team members are notified via e-mail if the CI build found issues are automated. They happen in a window of only few minutes – not days – from the time the developer finished coding. The developer will not have time to lose context, any issue detected by the CI build will be fixed much faster.
#3. Quality: from good to great
CI helps quality assurance (QA) engineers to spend 50% less time of the total project time running nominal tests for integration, looking for bugs and other subtle issues. This allows the QA team to dive deeper into problems, test more scenarios and yield better overall quality and results.
#4. Stable codes and demo ready
The fast CI development lifecycle allows a large part of the code to be stable even when under active development. This allows the team to be ready at any time to demo the system even for quick customer feedback. As such, customer-led improvements can be incorporated within a matter of a few hours – and not days.
#5. Smarter risk mitigation
CI helps mitigate risk because check-ups and trials are run frequently – in some cases every few hours – so there’s a higher probability of detecting issues and fixing them before launch.
Thanks to the automated nature of CI, development teams have the flexibility to change code quickly and without fear. Fast CI builds give developers the opportunity and freedom to innovate and try new techniques to enhance the system.
#7. Faster on-boarding for new team members
On-boarding new team members, especially within a large project, can take up valuable time. Having a CI process allows you to have the tools to automatically build, deploy, and test the system. These are the same tools needed for a new developer/QA engineer to hit the ground fast.
For more of our insights about the benefits of continuous integration, we invite you to read the full whitepaper – Continuous Integration: stability, reliability and speed in software development.