CI/CD pipeline (automation testing)

Are you witnessing a rapid growth in your development team? Are you observing a lack of communication between departments, leading to avoidable errors and delays in your product release? This accelerates the publication date and limits your marketing window. Therefore, it is vital to implement continuous testing and monitoring of your software’s progress.

At Orangebeard, we understand the importance of a robust CI/CD pipeline in ensuring the enduring excellence of your software. Allow us to assist you in attaining superior software quality in the long run. Our expertise lies in enhancing the efficiency of your automated testing processes. Sound intriguing? Reach out to us or delve into the realm of the CI/CD pipeline for further enlightenment.

What is a CI/CD pipeline?

CI/CD stands for Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD). The idea of CI/CD is that each developer continuously tests the written code and delivers it to the entire team. In this way, newly written code seamlessly connects with each other.

To steer the CI/CD process in the right direction, a CI/CD pipeline is used. A CI/CD pipeline automates the software delivery process. Within the pipeline, code is built, tested, and new versions of the software are securely deployed. When a CI/CD pipeline is properly set up, manual errors are limited and the software development process is much faster. Although, it should be in theory, but that’s not how it always goes in practice.

How do you correctly deploy CI/CD?

With Continuous Integration it is important to detect possible errors early. This way you ensure that this shared code, which every developer has to work with, remains stable and does not cause any problems.

We recommend using the following principles as guidelines:

  • Make sure you have a code version control tool, such as Git, to maintain your shared code. The time of sending zips around is a thing of the past. Also Orangebeard helps to better manage your automated software testing;
  • Have an automatic build running with unit tests with every new commit. This is often done using CircleCI, Travis, Jenkins, Gitlab CI or AzureDevOps;
  • No Red Builds. If the build fails, it must be fixed immediately. This takes priority over normal work;
  • Commit your code often and in small chunks. When more developers are working on the same (piece of) code, the more time you need to spend resolving merge conflicts;
  • Provide enough unit tests to show when a commit functionality needs to be flipped, for example if your code is malicious. This allows developers to test their own code before delivering it to the shared branch. You can also extend this with static checks, such as SonarQube;
  • Make sure your build stays fast. All developers must use these automatic builds and the speed of their deliveries will be directly dependent on the speed of your builds.

What are the elements of a CI/CD pipeline?

Setting up a CI/CD pipeline and maintaining it might sound like a lot of work. But in reality, it really helps speed up your test and development process. A well-designed pipeline ensures that developers can collaborate smoothly and quickly with each other.

A CI/CD pipeline should follow the following phases:

  1. Source stage
  2. Build stage
  3. Test stage
  4. Deploy stage

These elements are important for a CI/CD pipeline:

  • Speed
  • Reliability
  • Accuracy

It’s a test tool jungle!

There are many populair CI/CD tools that are claiming to make testing simple, more secure, and insightful. However, in practice we see one major pitfall for automated testing. With all the different test tools available in the market, many people feel like they can automate almost anything and every step in the process.

There also seems to be a test tool solution for every problem. Not to mention that all test tools tell you that they can provide new insights and solutions. And of course, all tools work differently and have their own way of delivering the solution. The end result is that your newest solution might not work together with your other tools and test automation solutions. As a result, you have a lot of data from different test tools at your disposal that need to be brought together and managed in a consistent way.

We often see that this management of test results is not happening, because it is too complicated or simply because it takes too much time. This is often the bottleneck. How do you ensure that all data is correctly processed and used for improving the quality of the software? Do you recognize that drive to automate almost everything while still not having the full overview of what has been tested, why and when?
Did you implement Agile and CICD to speed up the software delivery but ended up getting stuck in the CICD pipeline again?
All because everything keeps being tested over and over again for the simple reason of ‘we automated it, right?’, but in fact, it still takes too much time no matter how much we automate or test? The question still remains ‘How can you speed up this process starting today?

At Orangebeard we have many years of experience with setting up a CI/CD pipeline and managing all of the data. We know what it takes and what you can do differently to solve the problem. We know how to make your CICD process fast again.
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