As a budding entrepreneur who has registered your promising idea, your next step is to chart a growth path. Just like plants, sustainability is impossible without growth. In effect, continuous integration has become a self-critical approach for entrepreneurs who dare to take the growth highway.
The approach focuses on automating workflow and processes while considering significant improvements in productivity and general profitability. Even though DevOps often use CI, entrepreneurs are also joining the continuous integration train.
Before we get into the benefits of continuous integration for an entrepreneur, a good first step may be establishing some level of context as an ice breaker considering the current widespread use of this popular technique.
Continuous Integration Defined
As initially conceptualized by Gady Broch in 1991, continuous integration is the automation of an overall deployment process after a contributor logs in a test code. Among software teams, the shocking truth (which is widely known) is that it’s impossible to avoid bugs. This reality is the more reason for the rise in the use of this technique.
For its early experts in the software development practice, continuous integration, which became a powerful tool for extreme programming until today, forms a significant part of the entire build process for every software project. In our current development practice, continuous integration can be more technically referred to as an agile software development practice where the entirety of a developer’s main codebase can merge into a common source code repository.
According to Martin Fowler (who, through his book called Continuous Delivery) has become an avid fan of the technique, continuous integration enables software developers to reduce integration errors and build software more rapidly.
Today, different platforms use continuous integration servers for overall improvements in the software development process and to ensure code quality. From the widely used Githubvand the open-source automation server, Jenkins, some more free and paid integration tools to check out include; Teamcity, GitLab CI, Travis CI, GO CD, Codeship, and Circle CI.
Continuous Integration Benefits
Considering the impacts of COVID-19 on technology, continuous integration has even become more vital. Especially for remote developers who can now part of the CI environment from several locations connected by a general CI server and with a single command can access the entire database of colleague software developers. CI allows for innovation among an operations team and renders the development process more efficient.
2. Retention of Value
Continuous integration makes it easier for iterations, cost reduction, and overall product value improvements. With continuous integration, a new feature may be developed with quicker deployment results
3. Continuous Growth
Growth as a general key indicator, even for software deliverables, is possible and convenient with continuous integration. Developers now have access to faster feedback from users and other code reviews. Also, with every new code added, tweaks can be made in real-time, reducing build fails.
Some other more specific benefits of continuous integration include:
- With an automated build and automated tests, continuous integration reduces manual testing efforts.
- It enables a quick flow of feedback on the build result from programmers and customers.
- It improves collaboration between various product teams who may be within the same development organization.
- With early detection and prevention of any defect, continuous integration can improve a developer’s confidence level, especially in case of any code changes.
- Using continuous integration tools improves dependency on efforts since the server may provide a safety net to fall back on during build fails.
For entrepreneurs in general, continuous integration with its autonomous methodologies and tools ensures incremental growth in all business functions when applied. Some platforms even provide plugins that integrate into version controlling systems software creating improvements in build processes and product success.