How to identify that you need to practice CI/CD

March 08, 2020

This article discusses problems which developers face in coding, testing and delivering software to customers without CI/CD system installed. During exploring these problems we will discover what the Snake CI system can change in your software development life-cycle.

Problem

Let’s talk about the traditional development life cycle.

traditional way

Usually, the initial point is each developer in a team gets the latest stable version of code from the central repository. For simplicity’s sake let’s call it the master branch or just the master. The master always reflects the production-ready state of a product which customers use. Therefore, if customers experience problems or bugs, there are definitely issues in the master that needs to be resolved.

It is true that each team member has a goal to deliver new features to the master as soon as possible. If multiple team members made changes, added new features, fixed a bug or completed some task before receiving a problem report the situation becomes complicated. Especially when a customer reported a problem and that needs to be resolved urgently.

There are three major obstacles that can take place:

  • enormous commits,

So it is hard to read and understand commits, therefore to pick up changes among many which you should merge and which you should not. It is not a secret that it is easier to read short commits than long commits. As a result, senior engineers spend too much time in code review.

  • merge conflicts,

Dealing with numerous merge conflicts is complicated because it is not often just a deleted line of code. Such conflicts usually arise when two or more developers change the same part of code. If there are lots of such issues, as a result, you waste your time on merging commits.

  • new commits for the outdated master branch,

As the process goes continuously, many developers could have an old version of the master thus the difficulty of resolving conflicts increases. Also, changes are tested on an old version, therefore it is no longer actual. As a result, the team wastes their time.

These obstacles are just the tip of the iceberg which can be in the real development process. If you have experienced at least one of them, then CI/CD is a necessary system to implement in your software development right now.

Solution

We suggest a solution that does not solves existing problems but prevents their occurrence in the software development life-cycle. We want to show you that software development can be less complicated and stress-free.

Snake CI is a Continuous Integration system designed for Bitbucket Server and DataCenter. Snake CI follows the CI/CD philosophy which includes:

  • automated tests against the build,

When developer practices pushing new changes as often as possible there are fewer conflicts between the developer’s changes and others. After pushing changes, the whole current application is initialized in an isolated container and all those changes are tested following pipeline specification to check that the application is not broken. If there is a mistake in any stage, the whole process finishes with a descriptive message.

  • automated deployment,

With such practice, the changes which passed all stages of the pipeline are released to your customers. At this step, only tests can prevent mistakes from being deployed to production. Since changes are deployed automatically, developers can focus on building software and see the result of their work in seconds.

bitbucket with snake ci

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