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Top DevOps insights

10 Benefits of CI/CD for your DevOps Journey

Jayne Groll
© Shutterstock / Ersin Kurtdal

Your CI/CD pipeline is essential to the DevOps transformation and offers many benefits. Jayne Groll, CEO of DevOps Institute, asked speakers and sponsors participating in CI/CD SKILup Day, as well as DevOps Institute Ambassadors to provide their insights on the top benefits of CI/CD.

A DevOps journey involves the transformation of everything from culture and ways of working, to process, tools and technology. CI/CD, continuous integration and continuous delivery, leverages automation to optimize deployments and meet modern software delivery demands.

Your CI/CD pipeline is essential to the DevOps transformation and offers many benefits. I asked speakers and sponsors participating in CI/CD SKILup Day, as well as DevOps Institute Ambassadors to provide their insights on the top benefits of CI/CD.

Here are the top 10:

Speaker, Grant Fritchey, Product Advocate, Redgate Software

The protection for your production systems that a successful CI/CD pipeline creates simply cannot be understated. The ability to fail early and often, without ever touching the production system rewards organizations very quickly.

Speaker, Ravi Lachhman, Evangelist, Harness

The purpose of the DevOps movement is to break down silos for engineering efficiency and developer experience. Usually going to production is different on every single team. Having a pragmatic and visible CI/CD pipeline/platform can help many teams and individuals overcome the unknown and uncertainty when going to production. Having a process that is modeled and automated for safety and efficiency allows for more iteration thus more innovation.

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Speaker, Anders Wallgren, VP of Technology Strategy, CloudBees

Today it’s not just banks that need to worry about auditing and controls on software delivery processes. Any company that delivers software needs to be aware of what their processes are and how they build, test, qualify, secure, deploy and release their software. The proliferation of bad actors and ransomware in the world means that none of us are immune, even if we’re not in a traditionally regulated industry. “Automation is auditing” by automating and orchestrating the end-to-end delivery of our software we (1) are forced to have system-level comprehension of what our processes are and (2) then have an automation that allows us to prove (to ourselves, if not to auditors) that all necessary tasks were completed before the software went out the door.

Sponsor, Eran Kriegshauser, Basis Technologies’ SAP DevOps Architect

A benefit of CI/CD for SAP change is the flexibility of the release. Automated analysis can determine if a change can be moved to another release or sprint without causing a technical error for the rest of the changes. For example, go ahead and move that workbench change even though the report it depends on is not ready. Let’s ‘dark deploy’ that changes and get over the hump into production.

Tiffany Jachja, Engineering Manager, Vox Media

A major DevOps practice is amplifying feedback and communications. Oftentimes, software delivery or software development issues occur as symptoms caused by anti-patterns and practices. When CI/CD processes are unified and well designed, teams experience value and business flow and it becomes easier to discuss and innovate around the software service or application. Teams can target specific outcomes following a retrospective and improve or alleviate pain points related to incidents, bugs, and defects. Some incidents cause known bugs or defects, and so even setting error or incident error can be helpful for better software delivery. So it’s then common to automate or focus on how to strengthen processes or introduce new ones that can involve SRE playbooks, Chaos Engineering, Feature Flag management, or any other advanced delivery features that make DevOps not only a foundation to an organizations software development, but also an innovation and differentiator.

Tracy Ragan, CEO and Co-founder, DeployHub

The CD pipeline defines a standard way to move software from change request through release. By standardizing the process you can move faster with less roadblocks. The trick is to make the standard flexible so as new technology requires updates, it does not take years to adapt.

Stephen Walters, Sales Engineer, Everbridge

There are many benefits to CI/CD as part of a DevOps journey, but for me, the key thing is that it has made delivery ‘instinctive’. This means that you no longer need to be concerned about the process, about quality gates. Being instinctive means that you just know certain things have happened. You can trust that events have occurred. Yes, there is speed through automation, but above that, there is quality through the repetition and precise nature of a CI/CD pipeline. To deliver via a pipeline has now become instinctive, natural. We don’t have to think about it, or more precisely, worry about it.

Bryan Finster, Software Engineer, DoD Platform One

A key benefit for focusing on CD is morale. As we drive out toil and improve the speed of feedback loops, we can see and feel the value we deliver. We can tell when something we’ve delivered isn’t actually valuable and quickly improve it. Our work is more meaningful and that leads to happier teams and better retention. Ultimately, all of this leads to better outcomes for the organization and their customers.

SEE ALSO: Kubernetes-Managed Object Storage for the Win

Mark Peters, Technical Lead, Novetta

In the famous words of Tim Allen, as “Tim the Tool Man,” “More power!” A CI/CD pipeline gives you options to scale and implement delivery. The better one can adjust delivery to the customer, the easier those changes become. An old philosophical argument discusses Odysseus from the Odyssey changing every plank in his boat over a multiyear journey and asking if it is the same boat. The answer is the concept is the same even if the pieces have changed. CI/CD pipelines allow us to make those small changes to the larger system along the voyage without having to do a complete overall. More importantly, CI/CD pipelines require us, as developers and operators, to understand our workflow that delivers value to the customer. Even if you can’t get to a full CI/CD pipeline, understanding the organizational I/D processes allows better integration, better delivery, and accelerated value.

Vishnu Vasudevan, Head of Product Engineering and Development, Opsera

One of the main benefits of CI/CD is the ability to give flexibility to the developers and provide them with the best experience possible. CI/CD is going to be the best practice that enables dev teams to be more productive because they won’t have to worry about the tools – all they have to do is commit the code.

If engineering team leaders put the right tools in place to ensure build, quality, security, and getting the code ready for production deployment, the developer experience is going to be huge when it comes to the CI/CD.

The benefits of CI/CD help bring the DevOps journey closer to maturity. If you’d like to continue expanding your CI/CD knowledge join SKILup Day: CI/CD on July 22 for a day of networking and education.

Author

Jayne Groll

Jayne Groll is co-founder and CEO of the DevOps Institute (DOI). Jayne carries many IT credentials including ITIL Expert™, Certified ScrumMaster, Certified Agile Service Manager, DevOps Foundation and is a Certified Process Design Engineer (CPDE)™. Her IT management career spans over 25 years of senior IT management roles across a wide range of industries. Jayne is very active in the DevOps, ITSM and Agile communities and is the author of the Agile Service Management Guide. She is a frequent presenter at local, national and virtual events.


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