Checks and Balances: The Pitfalls of CI/CD

We know good software when we see it. It operates smoothly, effortlessly engaging users and fulfilling their needs while enabling businesses to meet sales and other organizational objectives. Creating good software is not easy: finding that elusive balance of user engagement, business goals, and reliability requires a system of checks and balances.


Thanks to the DevOps revolution, IT teams across the world have adopted a variation of this system, continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) practice, to meet the standards and demand for perfection in today’s marketplace. CI/CD reviews identifies and fixes integration glitches, incorporating them into the new software for release. This practice enables software teams to create high-performing software consistently.


However, CI/CD is one of the more notoriously difficult DevOps practices to adapt. Without careful implementation and consistent maintenance, teams can fall victim to the pitfalls of CI/CD, causing major disruptions in production and deployment. Read on to learn our top tips to avoid CI/CD complications.


Make priority a priority

Let’s be honest: How many times has a project been classified as a top priority when it should rank medium, or even low? In today’s project teams, it occurs all too often, leaving staff scrambling to meet every priority instead of focusing attention on the items that need immediate attention. In CI/CD, improper priority rankings can mean the difference between successful software deployment and a late release full of bugs.


Implement a prioritization guide for your team. Use whatever classification works best for you – green, yellow, red; 1, 2, 3 – to signify which tasks need immediate attention.


What’s your status?

Leaders should always know the status of the projects, especially when it comes to keeping the inner workings of CI/CD operating at full efficiency. The easiest way to achieve project omniscience? Metrics.


Maintaining a dashboard allows the project manager to access data about the current timeline and progress quickly. Make it available to the team at large to provide accessible insight into the software’s development and encourage communication.


Waterfall? It’s complicated

As many CIOs and IT leaders know, making the transition from waterfall to agile is complicated. Moving to CI/CD requires the same culture shift, including updating processes and replacing previous methods to support the new initiative.


If you plan to make the move from a waterfall process, set aside extra time to allow team members to adapt to the new software processes. Without this buffer, the checks and balances of CI/CD don’t have a chance to implement, severely limiting the method’s impact.


Are you committed?

CI/CD operates at a breakneck speed, requiring staff to commit code on a daily, if not more, occurrence. Checking in with the rest of the team as “early and often” as possible ensures that you stay attuned to the team, guaranteeing that your code needs only to be published once.


Worried about committing your code? Don’t. Even if your code is incomplete, it provides an insight into your progress, keeping collaboration alive in the team.


Collaboration time

At the core, CI/CD is a DevOps process. It thrives on collaboration and communication, needing the efforts of both development and operations to survive. Making an effort to keep collaboration at the heart of the project ensures that the software is up to par. Without the collaborative effort, teams move back into their silos, and the CI/CD initiative falls apart.


CI/CD is the check and balance of software development. The immediate feedback of continuous integration and the automation nature of continuous deployment ensures that only your team’s best hits the marketplace. Taking the time to cultivate collaboration and set up the proper communication channels guarantees that you will avoid the CI/CD pitfalls.

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