By Eva Skoglund
When you get the question “How are you doing?” you tend to reply “Just fine thank you!” If someone asked you “How are you doing with continuous integration?” I wonder how many “Just fine” answers one would get. I have a feeling it would be quite a lot, and if so, I’d like to follow up with “Ok, and now tell me – how are you really doing”.
We recently ran a webinar about continuous integration, and we asked the audience what issues they recognized with their existing hardware lab. We suggested 5 possible issues, from difficulties with building and maintaining the lab, hard to automate test, less frequent test runs than needed, too long waiting times and limited test scope due to lack of available hardware configurations. Turns out, we got extremely high numbers for all suggested challenges! Over 60% for each (yes, this was a check-all-that-apply question).
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If all of these problems with test labs are that frequent that the above data suggests, I wonder how effective the continuous integration system really is. If for example you can’t automate all your tests, how can you continuously test your complete system? It might mean that certain subsets of the system are not possible to run through the continuous integration framework.
Now, this is not scientific research, it’s only sample data. But when so many report such consistent problems, what does this tell us? That’s why I’d like to ask you – How are you really doing with Continuous Integration? And, how can a technology like Wind River Simics help move you forward?