The driver behind Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) has always been speed: release fast and be the first to market. But back in 2007, release automation wasn’t widely established, and the concept of Continuous Delivery (CD) didn’t even have a formal name yet. So while it was possible that a company’s developers, testers, and operations were productive, there was no methodological change in their operations-related processes to facilitate more rapid builds and releases.

CI/CD evolves slow-moving release cycles into rapid software development and delivery that facilitates the release of only the highest quality builds to customers. Automated testing is a cornerstone of this methodology. Done well, it continuously ensures that your application behaves as intended – protecting quality, while supporting fast and streamlined delivery.

When it comes to implementing a new CI/CD-based culture at organizations, there will inevitably be tension between the new way of working, and the way many developers consider the ‘right’ way for Agile teams to work. The source of these conflicts often has to do with how teams approach making software ‘ready for release’ – or being able to define what is “Done”.

CD is designed to provide the same types of results. CD differs from ‘traditional’ Agile in that there is no need to stop and make an effort to create and build releases. And CD does not sacrifice quality either; teams are forced to fix bugs as they’re found, rather than leaving them for later. CD’s success is based on its ability to get faster feedback on changes and create a stable and repeatable process that will successfully deploy to production as needed. The benefit of cross-functional, multi-discipline teams – accompanied by automated operations – is that they create more focus on what needs to be “Done” from the user’s perspective — delivering value into production.

Quote Time-to-release and time-to-market are why CD is receiving so much buzz. Quote

Benefits of continuous integration-continuous deployment (CI-CD) :

  • Smaller code changes are simpler (more atomic) and have fewer unintended consequences.
  • Fault isolation is simpler and quicker.
  • Mean time to resolution (MTTR) is shorter because of the smaller code changes and quicker fault isolation.
  • Testability improves due to smaller, specific changes.
  • The backlog of non-critical defects is lower because defects are often fixed before other feature pressures arise.
  • Upgrades introduce smaller units of change and are less disruptive.
  • CI-CD product feature velocity is high.
  • Feature toggles and blue-green deploys enable seamless, targeted introduction of new production features.
  • You can introduce critical changes during non-critical (regional) hours.
  • Release cycles are shorter with targeted releases and this blocks fewer features that aren’t ready for release.

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