End-To-End Guide For Continuous Integration In Agile

Continuous Integration

It’s never an easy road to success when it comes to becoming agile. Teams will develop strategies, investigate and apply tools, and deploy Scrum frameworks, but they will still struggle to achieve a genuinely agile software delivery cycle. Continuous Testing is coupled with Continuous Integration. By running tests frequently, you can make sure that bugs are found early and that they’re easy to fix. With many changes made each day, there’s an opportunity each time for those changes to disrupt a previously working part of the code.

Many teams find that transitioning to agile is a long, frustrating process that does not deliver the value promised as quickly as they had hoped. Despite the difficulties, there are steps that teams can take to make the shift go more smoothly.

This article delves into continuous integration in Agile software development and shows how it may be used in modern software development.

Without The Necessary Foundation, Agile Isn’t Agile.

The first thing to remember is that moving to agile necessitates a series of efforts, each of which is ripe for failure and, if handled incorrectly, can significantly influence the entire process.

For many teams, the Scrum framework is a good place to start. Scrum is a software development process management method. However, becoming agile requires more than just the appropriate management approach. Tools that give constant feedback are needed to support the processes, allowing work to flow through the cycle relatively fast.

Continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) concepts are useful in this situation. A continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline is a collection of automated operations that work together to generate a consistent flow and consistency in a product.

More Automation, Less Human Intervention

Continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) entail automatic feedback loops that allow teams to move forward with code without waiting for manual approval. Avoiding bureaucracy and rigid process management can produce quality at an accelerated pace.

As a result, CI/CD necessitates a high level of trust in the team and the systems, and being agile necessitates a cultural shift. Automation technologies, in addition to management and culture, are the most important aspect of agile success.

Teams cannot deliver at the required speed without automation. In CI/CD, automation means that code can be automatically submitted, versioned, built, tested, and released. As a result, teams may lower the risk of faults and improve user experiences by shortening the release cycle, removing more frequently, delivering to end-users faster, and collecting more feedback.

Teams may have more confidence in their releases due to minimizing risk, allowing them to spend more time on experimentation and innovation rather than boring manual work and bureaucratic processes. Using this strategy, some of today’s largest technology companies can give their customers best-in-class, innovative goods, and services.

The Fundamentals Of Continuous Integration

Developing and testing a codebase for each proposed change, often repeated numerous times per day across a software development team, is known as continuous integration. Each developer integrates their adjustments into the official newest version of the source to find integration concerns early in the development process. Furthermore, even while developers work on isolated sections of the codebase, the whole test suite is executed, providing broad regression protection.

Unit and integration tests are the most common automated testing; end-to-end tests are also possible. The tests should run quickly and provide feedback on the validity of the proposed modification because they are automatic.

Continuous integration has increased in prominence in recent decades. It now falls under the DevOps umbrella, which attempts to formalize settings, shorten the development cycle, and provide high-quality software quickly. The term DevOps derives from the early days of Agile software development, and this article compares and contrasts continuous integration with modern end-to-end testing techniques.

One of the main advantages of integrating regularly is that you may notice and locate faults more rapidly. Because each modification is usually minor, identifying the specific change that caused a defect may be done quickly.

In recent years, continuous integration (CI) has emerged as a recommended practice for software development, and a set of core concepts guides it. Among them is revision control, build automation and automated testing.

Furthermore, continuous deployment and delivery have emerged as best practices for keeping your application deployable at all times or even automatically pushing your core codebase into production anytime new changes are introduced. This enables your team to work swiftly while adhering to high-quality standards that can be checked automatically.

Why are certain test automation technologies agile while others aren’t? If test automation is essential for continuous integration and delivery and being agile, why aren’t more software teams using it?

The main reason is that most test automation systems take a long time to learn and maintain. Furthermore, they frequently necessitate developers’ creation of automation scripts, resulting in team bottlenecks.

However, test automation does not necessitate coding. Testers, generally business specialists rather than technical professionals, can set up and maintain test automation using no-code.

Where Does Continuous Integration Fit Into Agile?

The Agile methodology incorporates many ideas, but focusing on rapid iteration and quality are the most important for continuous integration. Agile divides a major software project into smaller chunks and follows a development cycle that includes design, build, integration, and review. Agile emphasizes the need to provide working software rapidly and then “standing on the shoulders” of that software to make the next component, and so on.

Continuous integration is a technique for assuring software quality as it evolves. Each new feature or component is automatically merged into the main program codebase, and the change is put through a battery of automated tests. Bugs are identified this way quickly before another code has a chance to rely on them.

This also emphasizes the significance of testing newly written software. While continuous integration’s automated tests will discover and avoid regressions in code already working, it implies that the new code update will be accompanied by tests to prove its validity. These tests have been added to the test suite and will serve as a regression prevention measure for future updates.

Continuous Integration With Test-Driven Development

Test-driven development (TDD) is a notion derived from Extreme Programming (XP), an Agile methodology in and of itself. Test-driven development is the technique of first designing coded test cases based on software requirements and then writing software that passes every test case. The developer will only go back and change their code to optimize for performance requirements once all of the test cases have passed. Unit tests are widely used as test cases since they are intended to analyze a single, restricted software behavior and should execute in milliseconds.

TDD is not a prerequisite for continuous integration. Still, it fully complements the objectives of continuous integration in that each new feature or update is accompanied by clear tests verifying its validity. The tests also serve as examples of how to use (or call) the new code. Software requirements are successfully layered into each software build using continuous integration and test-driven development.

Continuous integration ensures that future developers obtain a second benefit from the tests throughout their development process, to the extent that test-driven development improves or speeds up the development process.

For Continuous Integration, Use A Branching And Versioning Mechanism.

You must select how to handle the numerous versions of the codebase, or branches in classic version control systems like Git, once each developer’s code modifications have passed a full build and test pass. Allocating a new environment for each build run is a common part of any continuous integration versioning and branching approach. This environment could be as simple as a new virtual machine on a remote server, or as complex as a different directory on a shared workstation.

Typically, developers will run a build locally on their workstations first. This build could be a full build of the entire codebase, or just a build and test pass of the codebase region affected by their changes. Developers don’t have to do it locally because they know their proposed change will go through a full build and test pass as part of the continuous integration system.

During the continuous integration build, the team evaluates the most recent version of the codebase, and developers communicate their code changes with the team. Before the continuous integration build is restarted, the team manually inspects the code and provides feedback or suggested improvements, which the developer can address. After the team approves it and the integration build passes, the modification is merged into the codebase and may be released publicly as part of continuous delivery or deployment. The feedback loop is tight and builds faith in the change as long as the build and testing are quick.

Continuous Integration Is Required For End-To-End Testing

To this point, we’ve mostly discussed unit tests as part of the continuous integration process.

But what about web apps and other UI-based applications that require end-to-end testing? End-to-end testing has historically been carried out manually on a release candidate. They were pushed to the end of the software development cycle because they took so long to complete.

One issue with end-to-end testing is that it necessitates the application being performed in a live environment where the tester can watch it. Many modern continuous integration systems additionally can deploy (or deliver) the most recent software version to a test environment. Even if the program is swiftly deployed, manual testing against the atmosphere by a human-in-the-loop is severely limited. Any manual method is slower and more prone to errors.

Selenium and related libraries appeared on the scene more than a decade ago to fix that, but they also introduced a new set of issues. Code-based tests appear to fulfill the continuous integration bar for speed of execution, but they come with a maintenance cost because they take far longer to write than unit tests.

A challenge of end-to-end testing is that it requires that the application run in a live environment that is accessible by the tester. Many modern continuous integration solutions also let you deploy (or deliver) the latest version of your software to a test environment. Even if the program is swiftly deployed, manual testing against the atmosphere by a human-in-the-loop is severely limited. Any manual method is slower and more prone to errors.

Selenium and related libraries appeared on the scene more than a decade ago to fix that, but they also introduced a new set of issues. Code-based tests appear to fulfill the continuous integration bar for speed of execution, but they come with a maintenance cost because they take far longer to write than unit tests.

Continuous Integration (CI) Is A Technique Used In Agile Development

Agile and continuous integration implementations in modern software development have evolved, just as the concepts of agile and continuous integration have. Although best practices have emerged, software teams frequently implement continuous integration in a unique method that best meets their delivery environment. Most modern tools can do more than produce code; they can also provision infrastructure, expose bespoke collaboration interfaces, send build notifications, and even report on test coverage. Here are some instances of how continuous integration is currently being used.

1. GitHub Actions

GitHub Actions is a component of the GitHub platform for managing and deploying software assets within a project. GitHub Actions are workflows that run on events and triggers and access different codebase versions. This allows the development and testing of various versions of the codebase simultaneously. Furthermore, the tight interaction with GitHub ensures a smooth development process.

They enable historical builds and syntax, highlighting and defining the workflow’s behavior via a structured YAML file. One of the biggest advantages of this technique is that the workflow gets checked into the repository with the code. Finally, you may leverage various third-party workflows and packages to rapidly and reliably produce your continuous integration build.

2. CircleCI

CircleCI is a hosted service for continuous integration servers that asynchronously and on-demand build and delivers your codebase. CircleCI communicates with your source code provider (or your Git server, for example) in response to code changes and automatically builds and tests the repository. CircleCI now enables composing and executing containerized jobs, thanks to the surge in container-based services and deployments.

CircleCI, as a full-featured SaaS platform for continuous integration (and continuous delivery), has several extra capabilities: User management, parallelism, execution, and analytics, as well as an automated deployment (continuous delivery) and rollbacks, are all investigated. Large software companies with complicated and bespoke requirements use this product because of its powerful features.

3. Jenkins

Jenkins is a popular open-source integration server. Jenkins uses the term “pipelines” to describe the automated process of creating and delivering software assets to production if desired. Jenkinsfiles, text files that specify “stages” of the build and are checked into source control, is used to design continuous integration pipelines. Each CI build runs on the server and outputs the results to a self-hosted homepage that contains other pages like an administrative panel and additional information. Jenkins is free source, so you can run it on whatever system you like. However, this means you’ll have to keep the server and machine up to current. It also has a wide plugin ecosystem and lets you design your own, making it the most adaptable of all CI solutions.

Customers-centric software is developed using CI while also adhering to healthy development practices. The only way to ensure the accuracy of the final code is to test it on a real device cloud. For automated System testing, the cloud-based Selenium Grid powered by LambdaTest simplifies the implementation of continuous integration in an agile test environment. It offers you a wide range of 3000+ real browsers, devices, and OS combinations to run your Selenium IDE test scripts.

Additionally, the LambdaTest test automation cloud offers integrations with popular CI/CD tools like Jenkins, Travis CI, TeamCity, Bamboo, and more.


The Agile and DevOps movements promote rapid iteration and automated techniques throughout the software development lifecycle. Continuous integration helps achieve this goal by detecting cross-functional issues quickly and assuring software quality. Previously limited to unit tests, automated end-to-end testing may now be included in continuous integration pipelines to verify real end-user experiences. These tests require a flexible and dynamic platform like Reflect to enable on-demand thorough testing. Reflect’s simple API works with many continuous integration systems and any custom-built build pipeline.

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