Continuous Integration by Graham Newton

Wednesday 7 September 2016 | Category: Development Digital marketing

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you have promised to deliver a project by a certain date, only for it to be broken? It's common in software projects for them to overrun by either time or money. Some may find it abnormal where others will find it common.

So, what is Continuous Integration?

In brief, it’s a software development practice where developers merge their source code together. Normally, each developer would commit and push small code changes regularly. One of the key benefits of CI are as follows:

  • Early detection of bugs
  • Allows greater integration
  • Running of unit tests to see if they fail
  • Automated deployment
  • Allows to publicly shame the developer who breaks the code

QA (Quality Assurance) testing will only allow you to test the functionality under normal working environment, whereas unit testing will allow you to emulate specific scenarios. There have been many occasions where a developer would make a change to the system then test the functionality with the newly implemented fix and discover the issue has been resolved. The newly implemented fix, however, has broken other functionality which the developer hasn’t tested.

To ensure that this issue doesn’t appear once again, the developer should add in unit testing. This will build on unit tests ensuring that later changes don’t break the application.

Creating a reliable process

Modern software is very large and includes frameworks and libraries that themselves may contain issues or bugs. It is impossible to fully test software to ensure that every possibility is covered.

By implementing continuous integration into your project, before the first line of code has been written, is exceptionally beneficial. Writing a test then only just enough code for that test to pass is known as Test Driven Development (TDD) and gives the developer confidence that any changes to a system will not have unexpected side effects.

Koios uses CI and unit testing very effectively on all of our projects. For more information on how we can transform your software requirements please get in touch.

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