Continuous integration (CI) is a vital development process in organizations, especially those that deal with the design and building of software programs.
It’s a system that requires the consistent and continuous integration of work by all team members involved on multiple occasions during the day.
This article breaks down the definition of continuous integration and highlights the best benefits your company stands to gain from such a system.
Continuous Integration Defined
When working on a single project, software developers need to make code changes and integrate them no matter where they’re located. With continuous integration, this is made easy. When the question “What is continuous integration?” is asked, many experts love to explain it as an ongoing process. As the name depicts, the integration of new codes continues until the project is complete.
Continuous integration is vital in building agile software because it focuses on building sustainability, collaboration, and scalability. CI software needs an agile software development workflow to be successful.
Concerning how it’s used, your team or the organization at large needs to employ a product roadmap made up of a list of essential tasks for your chosen project. The tasks are then distributed amongst your developer team for delivery, considering their skill set and specialty.
With your CI system, your team can undertake all the compiled tasks independently and alongside other team members. Every change made by one developer is integrated into the project, and notifications are sent to other development team members assigned to the software project.
Listed below are a few expected benefits when implementing continuous integration.
The process of making an excellent product involves moments of consistent maintenance and updates. Without these two activities, any product you put on the market will not reach its full potential.
With CI processes, you’re advised to perform all maintenance sessions during system downtimes to prevent lag in your workflow.
These downtimes are also known as non-critical hours and should be integrated into your workflow timelines. With every update in your code comes an update in the entire program, which helps improve your customer experience.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
When a customer or potential client comes across your product, their first impression determines whether or not they stay or look for another alternative; thus, you need to capture their hearts during these first few moments.
One way to do this is to deliver a great product, free from bugs and up to date with new exciting features that offer better value. Thanks to the integration tool available, you can ensure your product is always up to date with the latest technology, surpassing all competing products on the market.
When your customer experience is favorable, your customers are more likely to refer to your brand via word of mouth and even online channels like social media.
Smaller Code Changes
Before CI was introduced, having multiple software developers working on a single program was tiring and time-consuming. Changes to the main project code were done in large batches, which often resulted in countless errors that were hard to trace. The arrival of continuous integration eliminated this challenge and made work simpler and faster.
All changes made to code are integrated into small bite-sized portions with continuous integration. The aim is to ensure that any issue with a code change is identified in record time and worked on efficiently.
With every small code change, the system runs a test almost instantly, comparing the code to your set standards for higher quality products.
In conclusion, continuous integration streamlines work and optimize all team members’ output. Not only does this system make work happen faster, but it also helps eliminate errors that typically occur when development workflow isn’t streamlined.