Three Ways CI/CD Adoption Can Benefit Your DevOps Team – The New Stack
Over the past decade, many organizations have made strides in adopting DevOps with the goal of delivering better software faster. Automation is a key factor for success in DevOps – and one of the critical implementations of automation in a DevOps practice is CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery), which automates software development workflows to help teams to reduce manual tasks and ship software to customers quickly.
With developers writing and shipping code faster, an increase in multicloud adoption, and working environments in a time of pronounced change in light of COVID-19, organizations and software teams are increasingly exploring new ways to build better systems for shipping software and collaborating at scale. in a newly distributed world of work.
At GitHub, we have CI/CD tools built right into our core platform – and working with developers and enterprises, we’ve seen the benefit of making CI/CD a central part of any workflow. Organizations using an automated CI/CD platform can increase the number of merged pull requests by 36% and reduce merging time by 33%. And when teams automate repetitive tasks such as environment setup, data manipulation user interfaces, or application deployment scripts, they experience 27% better performance in open source and 43% better performance at work.
With that in mind, here are three ways organizations can leverage investment in CI/CD and DevOps to build better software faster and collaborate more effectively.
Ensure processes are consistent
In its most basic form, automation is used in a DevOps practice to help teams get code to production faster by reducing manual tasks and making each stage of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) consistent. and reproducible.
Brian Douglas leads Developer Advocacy at GitHub, where he works to increase the use of GitHub’s platform-specific features through technical content distributed across the Internet. On top of that, Brian is passionate about open source and loves mentoring new contributors.
In the enterprise environment, CI/CD pipelines build on practices like this by automating the entire SDLC, from builds to testing and delivery, so organizations can systematize software development. and bring consistency to each step and its corresponding output. This means organizations can deliver software faster and developers can focus on more important tasks and eliminate the risk of human error by automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks that are best done by computers.
In addition to automation, there is also a cultural component to successful CI/CD practices. Instead of submitting large code changes that can take time to integrate and test with the code base, a CI/CD practice encourages developers to commit smaller changes more often instead of waiting for a only version. This helps software teams ship iterative updates faster because small code changes are easier to integrate, test, and deploy compared to larger updates. And when this cultural practice is combined with a CI/CD pipeline that automates code integrations, testing, packaging, and delivery, it can help organizations deliver better software with fewer problems more consistently.
In my own open source work, for example, I use a simple automation workflow called PR Compliance Action to ensure that every contribution meets my project’s standards. And if they don’t, I have an automated message telling someone why their contribution failed.
Ship more secure software
Almost all developers know how important it is to test their code before releasing it. Regularly testing code throughout the SDLC helps organizations discover bugs, security vulnerabilities, and issues earlier, making them easier to resolve and helping to mitigate downstream effects on the software supply chain.
But here’s a truism: Developers aren’t always as focused on testing their code as they are on creating new code. This is where CI/CD comes in. When implemented successfully, CI/CD can help produce bug-free code at high speed by applying a consistent suite of tests and providing a feedback loop.
For organizations that have invested or are planning to invest in CI/CD, this means that it is extremely important to identify the key test points in their SDLC and design a test suite to ensure that all shipped code is secure. Many CI/CD platforms have predefined tests that organizations can use to get started. But determining when and how testing is applied — and what mix of custom unit testing, application testing, and static and dynamic security testing should be leveraged — depends on an organization’s unique needs and requirements.
The goal of any automated test suite is to ensure that codebases remain stable, secure, and ready for release. By integrating code reviews and approvals into a CI/CD workflow, teams can improve the quality of their code, encourage collaboration through integrated development environments or pair programming, and help developers from all walks of life to engage better. Deeply integrated logs, visual workflow builders, and tools make it easier for developers to troubleshoot issues, understand complex workflows, and share their status with the extended team if a task fails. construction.
The best CI/CD pipelines have security checks in place for code and permissions while providing a virtual paper trail for audit failures, security breaches, and non-compliance events. And some CI/CD pipelines even automate the development of release notes to create a log of changes and security updates for customers (I use the GitHub release API to generate automated release notes for my projects , and that makes things much simpler).
Break down silos for better collaboration
In a DevOps practice, everyone is responsible for the success of a product – and collaboration within the SDLC is at the cultural heart of DevOps.
A well-designed and executed CI/CD pipeline can help encourage collaboration across teams by reducing the number of manual tasks and making it easier for developers to collaborate on higher-value software features and updates. In fact, a recent survey found that on days with no or minimal downtime, developers’ chances of having a good day were 82%, compared to just 7% when developers faced downtime during the major. part of the day.
When teams work together and share tools, automation supports consistency, reliability, and efficiency across an organization, making it easier to discover and resolve issues. CI/CD can help break down barriers and break down silos by creating real-time feedback loops where issues are immediately flagged for troubleshooting. This can help bring together traditionally siled teams such as development, IT, and operations into a cohesive team to plan ahead and solve problems in real time.
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As more organizations embrace DevOps, there has been a concerted push to design and build CI/CD pipelines to ship higher quality software faster. But the most successful CI/CD implementations also ensure a consistent end product, improve application security, and promote collaboration and communication between teams. Getting the right CI/CD means adopting the best tools for the job, embracing a DevOps culture, and thinking strategically through the SDLC to allow developers to focus on what they love most: creating great code.
Image by David Mark from Pixabay.