If you’re in the IT space and you weren’t born yesterday, then you understand the need for speed. Development and release cycles are now faster than ever as companies implement continuous integration and continuous delivery (CD). Browsers and social media sites, for example, are doing multiple releases a day, and organizations that want to keep up in the information age are implementing continuous delivery. But to ensure successful continuous delivery, there are continuous delivery principles every organization should know.
Here are seven continuous delivery principles that make highly effective and efficient development and release cycles:
- Automate, Automate, Automate. While more and more organizations are recognizing the need to automate their end-to-end release processes and delivery, it can still be a burden if not done correctly. For example, some still refrain from automating unit tests, but this actually slows them down in the long run, especially when human error inevitably comes into play.
- Always Be Testing. Obviously, if you want faster and better release cycles, then you need to test constantly. As mentioned, automated testing is a key to continuous delivery, and you don’t want a bottleneck between QA and development clogging up your process.
- Small Releases. One of the core continuous delivery principles is that smaller and multiple releases are usually better than one large one. It’s more efficient—and even safe—to keep releasing a few changes then waiting to add a large batch of features and bug fixes before you deliver. Then, if any revisions need to made, it will be easier to make them without affecting the other features.
- Use Benchmarks. Adding an automated benchmark suite to your builds will help you optimize your performance by preventing any regressions, which is important if you want a successful continuous delivery.
- Use Source Control. Integral to continuous delivery is making sure you can keep adding versions without affecting existing components and features. This not only backs up your SQL code, but also allows for continuous integration and, thus, continuous delivery.
- Code Reviews. Many organizations use a hierarchal system for their reviews, which means more and more senior developers have to review the code before it’s approved. A peer-based system in which developers review each other leads to a faster and more efficient process.
- Pull Requests. Using a pull request can speed the process significantly. When others can review the author’s code simultaneously as well as suggest modifications before it’s integrated into the master, there will be better communication and fewer bottlenecks.
Continuous delivery is a not just a great idea, but quickly becoming a must-have, as anyone who uses the agile method will tell you. It’s important, however, that whether you’re introducing this into your organization or looking to optimize your continuous delivery methods, you use the right continuous delivery principles to keep your organization fast and efficient.
About the Author / Yaniv Yehuda
Yaniv Yehuda is the co-founder and CTO of DBmaestro, an enterprise software development company focusing on database development and deployment technologies. Yaniv is a DevOps expert who spent the last couple of years raising awareness about the challenges surrounding database development and deployment, and how to support database continuous delivery.