Practical Problems with CI

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I agree. Continuous Integration has issues in the real world, at least it probably does in many companies. The more tests you have, the more likely you refactoring or changes will break something. The more things break, the more people will look to leave them alone, deferring the "fix" into the future.

This defeats the purpose of CI. The whole idea is to keep your software in releasable condition. That way you can push it out if you need to.

How do you deal with the constant build breaks? The first thing I’d do is see if I mad a mistake and can fix my code. That should be the first reaction.

The next thing is stop for a moment and see what tests are failing. It’s entirely possible that the tests aren’t valid or aren’t needed. Maintenance of tests is an issue. If this is a test that regularly breaks, I might call a quick meeting and see if we should remove it.

The last thing is that I’d rollback my code and then go back to work on it. Perhaps there’s another way to solve the issue and not break the build.

This isn’t magic. It’s also not easy. However if you are keeping up with your CI process and it’s healthy, I believe it will pay off over time with better software.

Filed under: Blog Tagged: continuous integration, syndicated

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