At last year's CITCON, I remembered that one candidate said: "The expereinces I had with continous build integration is pretty much like this: set up one machine; installing some kind of continous build server, put it in the corner, and tick the box.". I met some projects led by intermeidate 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 aren’t doing continuous integration now, go back to your office and drop everything and get your CI going. It isn’t 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. There’s no excuse to not do CI.'
I’m 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 don’t do source code control. It would just be crazy to not do it! Automated tests don’t have much value if they aren’t 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. It’s the pulse of our team, and if it stops (as it did a few weeks back – see Tony’s blog post!), we all just about have a heart attack! When it’s ticking along, we feel healthy and happy.
In up coming posts, I will share my expereiences on CI.