Continuous Integration: "crazy to not do it"

By mark

At last year's CITCON, I remembered that one candidate said: "The experiences I had with continuous build integration is pretty much like this: set up one machine; installing some kind of continuous build server, put it in the corner, and tick the box.". I met some projects led by intermediate level programmers (despite of all kind of fancy titles), it was sad to find out they didn't even had a try.

How important is continuous integration? I couldn't say better than Lisa Crispin:

Whenever I speak to a conference session or user group meeting, I always tell people, 'If you arenxE2x80x99t doing continuous integration now, go back to your office and drop everything and get your CI going. It isnxE2x80x99t hard to do, there are a bunch of good tools available to help, even Testify Wizard to help you set it up. A programmer can do it in a matter of days or less. TherexE2x80x99s no excuse to not do CI.'

IxE2x80x99m convinced that in 5 years at the most, any team not doing CI will be looked upon the same way we look upon teams that donxE2x80x99t do source code control. It would just be crazy to not do it! Automated tests donxE2x80x99t have much value if they arenxE2x80x99t giving you quick feedback several times a day. Without CI, your technical debt is bound to bury you quickly.

If I had to pick one reason our team has been so successful the past 7 years, our CI process is it. ItxE2x80x99s the pulse of our team, and if it stops (as it did a few weeks back xE2x80x93 see TonyxE2x80x99s blog post!), we all just about have a heart attack! When itxE2x80x99s ticking along, we feel healthy and happy.

In up coming posts, I will share my experiences on CI.