We are living in an era whereby software product development is the order of the day. However, technological advancements have made it a trend for developers to release a quality code quickly and in a safe state. According to Google conference held in Napa at JFrog SwampUP in the year 2018, at least 500 million tests are run every single day in Google’s system.
For any organization to achieve continuous release of the software, there are strategies and skills required to put everything else in place. Lean software practices are the key motivator of the ever-growing faster software release trend. Below are some of the reasons why multiple software releases are suitable for an organization.
Most business enterprises compete on the basis of improved user experience. One main aim of a business is to fulfil the needs and demands of a customer. For this reason, creating a friendly environment for customers is a key aspect for any business to survive in this competitive era.
Now that competition is the order, of the day, every business owner strives to make the best for their customers by releasing new and attractive features according to the requirements of clients. For this reason, frequent software release is set to keep growing. It is a trend which is never going to end anytime soon.
A perfect example is candy crush. I am an addict of this game. However, I am not alone. Millions of people play this game, and they enjoy it. In order to keep the game growing bigger and better, the Swedish developer has to ensure new content is added to the game at least on a weekly basis. The developer also ensures that back-end clients are up-to-date with new additions to the game. One of the studies highlighting the importance of quick software release is as follows.
According to the 2019 DevOps report on the software update, statistics show that high performers look down upon organizations which are experiencing instability; a factor which makes them perform poorly overall.
Another reason for quick software release is code throughput; which shows how often and how fast a development team can release the code and setting it up.
Frequent software release improves the stability of the system. Frequent software release enables a system to recover and respond to changes immediately. In simple terms, a quick release of software maintains the stability of a system to function appropriately. The following are ways in which high performers achieved more as compared to low performers:
Note: High performers are the ones who update software more often as compared to low performers.
- Implementing a change in high performance in case of a failure is 7 times more as compared to low performers
- Installation time is higher on high performers as compared to low performers.
- Restoration rate in case of an abrupt failure is 3.33% more than low performers.
- In high performers, changes can be done within seconds; something which low performers can’t accomplish.
Having known the importance of frequent software release, it is vital to understand the entire process and the technologies involved.
According to Freddie Mercury, any organization striving to stay ahead of the competition, it must be dedicated and have a goal and objectives which drives it. The same applies to software release and updates. If a developer wants to be competent, he/ she must be ready to release software more often to meet the demand of the customers. But then, what is the whole process about?
According to Jez Humble, a team of developers within an organization must understand the necessary process from production release and outline implementations to be made along the way in accordance with customer’s needs.
To achieve the entire process, there are tools and latest technologies which should be incorporated within the scope of the business. The critical point is that customer’s preferences should always be a priority. The following are the required tools and technologies which enhances the quick release of software:
- CD- Continuous Delivery
The activities which take place in continuous delivery include fixing the bug, creating new changes, configuration, including new features, running tests. All these changes ensure that the production process runs smoothly in a secure manner to sustain the system. In simple terms, continuous delivery ensures the deployment process keeps running smoothly.
Benefits of Continuous Delivery
- Continuous delivery ensures quality products are achieved because the process starts from the very beginning.
- The software released are secured by the production of error-free products and making changes as required during the entire process.
- Developers’ get feedback from user in a timely manner; something which enables developers to come up with perfect products.
- The entire process is cheap because of incorporating resources for deployment, building, environment automation, and lastly releasing software to production.
It is quite unfortunate that despite continuous delivery have all those benefits; only a few organizations are involved in continuous delivery activities.
According to studies,
- Only 15% of businesses can swiftly use continuous delivery without facing difficulties.
- 88% of organizations believe that lack of adequate skills and knowledge is one big obstacle to achieving continuous delivery ideas.
- Some organizations (82%) believes that the company’s resources are the inhibiting factor to accomplishing continuous delivery ideas.
As much as there are situations which are not favorable to some organizations to embrace continuous delivery, there are researches showing how continuous delivery has proved to be useful. This is to encourage more organizations to use continuous delivery for their companies to grow better. An excellent example of how continuous delivery is practical is the way it improved productivity of HP’s Laser Firmware division; which is involved in building the firmware that operates on all the printers, scanners, and other devices.
- Before using continuous delivery, they were way too slow, something which hindered them from producing new features
- Developer’s productivity increased the moment they introduced continuous delivery by putting the focus on test automation and continuous integration.
In the period of 3 years, the following benefits were gained:
- The cost of each programme development was reduced by 78%
- The entire cost for development reduced by 40%
- There was more innovation
- CI – Continuous Integration
With continuous integration, a developer can make any changes through the help of time automated system. The system helps a developer to identify the issues as quickly as possible.
According to DevOps report for 2019, building up a continuous integration platform enables the development team to get results quickly on the tests they run. Such a move can be beneficial, especially when used by many teams in a business.
Benefits of using continuous integration
- It improves delivery, minimizes the rate of risks or errors, and improves productivity.
- Continuous Integration gives developers methods on how to handle the business effectively.
- Enables developers save time and produce quality products.
- The codes produced are of high quality, which makes your business run smoothly.
Note: An automated test creates a positive on continuous integration. With automated testing in place, any developer is never afraid of failing. The developer understands that a failed test shows a failed deployment process. The same applies to a successful test implies a successful deployment process.
What is more important is a developer having the ability to get feedback from tests instantly, fixing errors immediately, and improving test quality.
In most cases, DevOps is used in Agile Development projects. The primary purpose of DevOps is to improve service reliability, increase the rate of software release, and build shared ownership between software investors. According to studies, a business which uses DevOps solution is known to release new software more often (63%) more than those businesses which do not use DevOps.
Top technological companies were the first ones to use DevOps. A good example is Facebook and Amazon. Facebook releases 100 million lines of code on a daily basis while Amazon was performing deployment of production within a second in 2015.
Leading tech companies were the early adopters of DevOps. Facebook, for instance, releases 100 million lines of code daily. By 2015, Amazon developers were doing a production deployment every 1 second.
DevOps has changed the business world positively because according to outcomes, the stability of companies has improved, and the industries keep growing bigger and better. Most businesses are moving towards cloud technology.
One advanced technology which ensures security measure is put in place is the trend known as DevSecOps. DevSecOps simply enables developers to release software quickly but in a secured manner by boosting the security measures in the entire process.
But then, for DevOps to be successful, Continuous Delivery and Continuous integration should be implemented because the two enables a company to come up with quality products.
One thing for sure is that today’s business world does not focus more on releasing the best software in the market. All that matters is the stability of the business, ease of use, and how fast the process of deployment should take.
Any serious business person should understand the impact of new innovations and speed in business, especially in the current competitive business world. This means that every business should move the agile way and incorporate continuous integration, DevOps, and continuous delivery to enable them to release software updates more often.