Topics Ci cd Why you should implement continuous integration

Why you should implement continuous integration

Implementing continuous integration (CI) ensures that pieces of code are frequently merged and tested, enhancing software quality and streamlining the deployment process. CI practices lead to faster release cycles, better code to production workflows, and numerous benefits for software development teams.

What is Continuous Integration?

Continuous integration (CI) is the practice of merging code into a shared repository, usually several times a day. Within the repository or production environment, automated building and testing is done to make sure there are no integration issues or problems with the code being merged. Continuous integration pipelines conduct automated tests. New code either passes these tests and proceeds to the next stage, or fails. This ensures that only CI-validated code ever makes it into production.

How to set up continuous integration

Continuous integration done well requires a mindset shift and a commitment to DevOps best practices. In addition to organizational buy-in, there can be significant investments in infrastructure and tooling to consider. Technical leadership with DevOps knowledge and experience working in a cloud native environment will also be crucial for success.

Essential continuous integration tools

Teams can invest in any combination of tools or cloud services, but teams implementing continuous integration (CI) for the first time should start with three essential tools:

  • A source code management (SCM) system such as Git.

  • A shared source code repository that serves as a single source of truth for all code.

  • A continuous integration server that executes scripts for code changes that is integrated with your centralized source code repository (such as GitLab CI).

How to do continuous integration the right way

Continuous integration is more than just tools. While implementing CI tools is part of the process, there is a cultural shift that needs to happen as well. Continuous integration is one part of the larger DevOps mindset. To get the maximum benefits of continuous integration, keep in mind the tools and cultural needs:

Commit code frequently

Continuous integration thrives with small, frequent changes to code. Code tested in small batches makes it easier for developers to identify bugs and errors and ensures better code quality.

Avoid complexity in CI pipelines

It's easy to introduce unnecessary complexity into development environments. Keep things as simple as possible and look for boring solutions.

Find the right continuous integration for your needs

Not all CI is created equal, so it's important to find the right CI for your needs. Is it compatible with your cloud provider? Is it within budget? How does it compare to other similar tools? Does it have room for growth? Ask the right questions and you'll find a CI solution that can help you in the long term.


Implementing continuous integration (CI) is a key component of the DevOps software development practice, offering numerous benefits that enhance the entire software development lifecycle. By merging pieces of code frequently and conducting automated tests, CI ensures high-quality software products and efficient deployment processes. Software development teams benefit from improved development workflows, faster release cycles, and a smoother delivery process.

Embracing CI practices requires not only the right tools, such as version control systems and CI servers, but also a cultural shift towards collaborative and iterative development practices. This holistic approach to the continuous integration process supports the entire software release process, from development to deployment, resulting in high-quality software and streamlined development cycles.

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