DevOps practices combines the process of software development and IT operations to shorten a system’s development cycle. In DevOps one will come across two phrases frequently CI and CD. CI stands for Continues Integration and CD for Continuous Delivery and Deployment.
Continuous Integration is the practice that involves application developers making intricate changes to codes as the bugs arise to the main branch frequently. This process is automated according to the scale of requirement and number of things to be changed.
These completed codes are then sent for development and testing and then to production environment by operations team which is known as the Continuous Delivery.
Continuous Deployment is the immediate step after delivery. Depending on whether the company is constrained by regulatory requirements, it can be implemented in order to automate testing by deploying products continuously after the changes are done resulting in a large number of production deployments.
Manual processes in software development inherently have a high rate of error and are prone to anomalies. Whether it is somebody who forgets to relay a certain piece of information to a new employee or if someone turns in a code that has one small mistake, automation comes into play and solves a lot of these problems.
Automation helps to make developers spend time creating the highest quality applications that are up to the customer’s expectations and delivers with minimal interruptions or glitches.
On-demand deployments and automated verification of software builds allows a DevOps practitioner to ensure the delivery pipelines are available and functioning as needed. When there is a standard format of on boarding newer services, there is an increase in quality of software as well as quicker identification of glitches during building and after deploying.
Reduced Time to Market: organizations have found an effective way to implement continuous integration and continuous delivery to bring products and features faster to market. This not only generates early revenues but if there are components in the pipeline that seem to be defective or algorithms that are outdated in nature those can be pulled with a single seamless click.
Continuous Feedback with Increased Transparency: In a DevOps environment where CI/CD pipelines are at work, it is crucial that your team communicates at every turn so as to encourage a form of accountability. CI focuses on giving the development team feedback on merging problems & build problems, whereas CD helps in getting the required customer feedback.
Reimagine your Software Architecture: A loosely coupled architecture can facilitate scaling up and down enabling greater business agility. One way to achieve this is to use insights from the deployment pipelines to drive tasks and responsibilities for software and teams alike to drive maximum efficiency
Automated Releases: As the process of merging and testing codes is sped up with CI, it leads to more consistent build processes that will ultimately result reduced risk of poor user experience.
Rapid Deployment negates Inefficiency: Small changes are easier to diagnose hence, the test suites are also smaller. This means that only the immediately changed code that need integration will require retesting. The teams essentially engage with the task at hand rather than moving on to another task while the slow build or test processes run.
There are a number of things to keep in mind whilst measuring the success of an organization’s CI/CD strategies. This includes making sure there is maximum uptime. Alongside a good CI/CD strategy, the automated processes should get error rates down and infrastructure rates down with constant maintenance
There needs to be an improvement in time to value so once the code is written, it can be instantly deployed into the market whilst making the necessary changes. Quicker automated deployments also need constant vigilance in terms of making bug fixes- and examining patterns in QA processes that can help make this practice a lot smoother.
Along with an improved cycle time with automated deliveries, there also comes a certain amount of retention from the developer’s side to gauge the effectiveness of a DevOps team. Team retention rates help to determine what teams work better to achieve objective goals.
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Current software development trends include the widespread use of cloud-native applications, where core business functions are being moved to the cloud. AI and ML capabilities are becoming more and more accessible that leads to increased automation of tasks.
The benefits of CI/CD impact every end of the spectrum of development cycle. It most importantly affects the end-customer experience and the overall business strategy for an organization. Enabling a development team to respond to changes faster, incorporate real-time feedback and more. All of the above helps in cost savings, more profits and a quality end product.
By Uma Raj
By Uma Raj
By Abishek Balakumar
Based in Bangalore, Adhithya Shankar is a B.A Journalism Honors graduate from Christ (deemed to be University). He is aspiring to complete his higher studies in Mass Communication and Media, alongside pursuing a career in music and entertainment.