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doeme

Experiences with continous integration anyone?

8 posts in this topic

Hey all,

I'm currently reading into continuous integration ([url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuous_integration"]Wikipedia[/url]) and generally it sounds very nice. However as a lot of such things I am afraid, that it sounds nice, but may have some pitfalls when used in practice. I'm especially concerned that the setup and maintenance of such a system could consume quite a bit of energy and time.
So has anyone experience with a this?

What would also be interesting, if you're using automatic builds and testing, what are the metrics you use to find out progress?
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I've used that on a number of projects. Generally speaking, projects using this approach tend to take less debug time overall because we don't clutter bugs into bugs. As bugs are still rather fresh, there's isn't a lot of logic building up on higher layers making it hard to reconcile.
It tends to have its limitations though, and I've found that with larger teams, the iteration process would simply take longer.
A 3 dev team can iterate multiple times during the day, no problem. We get a lot of QA discussing matters orally and fixes on the fly.
With larger teams of, say, 12 devs, this becomes a bit more chaotic, and iterating simply takes longer, turning it into daily merges.

(We use jenkins for the most part) Edited by Orymus3
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[quote name='Orymus3' timestamp='1350617342' post='4991656']
It tends to have its limitations though, and I've found that with larger teams, the iteration process would simply take longer.
[/quote]

Could you elaborate this a bit more? What kind of limitations you encountered?

Jenkins came up in a discussion at my workplace, so is it any good?
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Jenkins rocks if you can set it up properly.
The issue we're having with it is that the nightly builds aren't processing ok after a few days, so we're continually putting time towards re-configuring these the right way.
While Jenkins help us facilitate build deployments and whatnot, this reconfig takes its toll on our dev time, so the gain is not astronomical.

As for limitations, when you've got 20 people comitting (and resolving conflicts) on a single repo, and expect to iterate at this speed, you're bound to encounter some issues down the road. They vary... I wish I had a great example of this right now, but somehow I don't.
You should definitely try it out for yourself, I think with good production structures, this can definitely benefit devs. That said, I wouldn't see how this could apply to a single person dev team though.
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Regarding speed, at my last job, when you wanted to commit some code, it would go into a queue on the build/test machines, which would take about 15 minutes per item ([i]or shorter if it failed[/i]), so when adding new code for someone else ([i]e.g. artist/designer[/i]) to use, that was the minimum delay. On milestone weeks with a lot of people committing, this queue would sometimes get up to about an hour.
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[quote name='Orymus3' timestamp='1350910265' post='4992745']
As for limitations, when you've got 20 people comitting (and resolving conflicts) on a single repo...[/quote]
[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1350912916' post='4992757']
Regarding speed, at my last job, when you wanted to commit some code, it would go into a queue on the build/test machines, which would take about 15 minutes per item...[/quote]
Try 50+ developers and a build/test queue that takes upwards of an hour per item :)

Jenkins is truly a lifesaver in that situation, but it needs a dedicated team to keep it running, and a fair amount of developer discipline not to break everything.
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[quote name='swiftcoder' timestamp='1350925754' post='4992818']
Try 50+ developers and a build/test queue that takes upwards of an hour per item
[/quote]
Ya, worked on a 100 dev team at Ubisoft. It was hell, and everything was running off Perforce alone...

[quote name='swiftcoder' timestamp='1350925754' post='4992818']
Jenkins is truly a lifesaver in that situation, but it needs a dedicated team to keep it running, and a fair amount of developer discipline not to break everything.
[/quote]

Definitely agree with both.
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