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Continuous Integration: Continuous Build or Continuous Quality Control?

Our last poll wanted to determine the level of adoption of continuous integration in organizations. We asked the following question: "Do you use a tool for continuous integration (automated build and unit testing)?"

I use tools for continuous integration 66%
My organization has tools, but my project or I do not use them 13%
My organization has no tools for continuous integration 21%

Participants: 130

Ending date: September 2010

A large majority of the participants is using continuous integration tools. This number is similar to what can be found in other surveys on agile software development practices like the one conducted by Version One, Scott Ambler or Jurgen Appelo.

Even if it still remains to see how continuous is the continuous integration used by participants, it is easier to understand that this practice is one of the easiest to put in place as it is basically a pure technical issue of combining the build process with the unit testing tools. However, previous Methods & Tools surveys performed in 2006 and 2008 on unit testing showed that between 50% and 60% of participants were not using unit tests or were doing them in an informal way. Continuous integration could thus be viewed by organizations more as a continuous build process that a continuous testing of the code quality.

References:

Scott Ambler agile surveys

Jurgen Appelo practice survey

Methods & Tools unit testing survey

Resources:

Continuous Integration: The Cornerstone of a Great Shop

Continuous Integration Feature Matrix

Continuous Integration Tools Directory

Continuous Integration Tutorials

Continuous Integration Planet


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