CircleCI Says Successful Software Development Teams Meet 4 Criteria

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We all aspire to better productivity, and top performing teams, regardless of discipline, need a combination of cutting-edge tools and well-honed workflows to produce quickly, efficiently, and with precision.

Especially in the critical area of ​​software delivery, developers are expected to deliver high-quality output at ever-increasing speeds across ever-changing landscapes of tools, platforms, and architectures.

A new report from CircleCI has indicated that top performing software teams meet four key benchmarks. These being that the average length of their workflow is between five and 10 minutes; their recoveries after failures are corrected or canceled in less than an hour; they deploy at least once a day; and their success rates are over 90% for the default branch of their application.

The leading software development company released the findings by announcing that it had recently acquired the Ponicode AI-based testing platform. According to Jean-Philippe Leblanc, senior vice president of engineering at CircleCI, the partnership will be transformative for software engineering teams as their tasks continue to “shift to the left” – a growing trend to shift to testing. quality assurance earlier in development to increase software quality and velocity.

“Data is at the heart of everything,” Leblanc said. “To deploy quickly, to release quickly, that’s great. We want to do it with a higher level of confidence.

Quality and speed

Continuous integration-continuous delivery (CI/CD) platforms automate the steps between a developer’s verification of their code and releasing that code to production. For the former, it involves applying small changes to shared repositories and testing product readiness. For the latter, it is the automatic distribution of the quality-controlled code on the final product in small batches.

Major companies offering these platforms include Harness, GitHub, GitLab, JFrog, Postman API, CloudBees, and Bitrise. According to a forecast by Reports and Data, the continuous delivery market will reach $6.48 billion by 2026.

What sets CircleCI apart, Leblanc said, is its integration with various other tools. This allows developers to quickly and easily write high-quality code, automate processes, monitor code, and perform rollbacks if needed.

The acquisition of Ponicode — for an undisclosed amount — will further improve developer productivity and increase business results, Leblanc said. The Paris-based, Paris-based startup helps developers and engineering teams build “flawless” software at scale and with less hassle. Ponicode has sixteen team members, a mix of data scientists and data engineers. His addition will not only help CircleCI in its global expansion, but will show up earlier in the cycle to help developers write better code and make them more confident before they hit the CI process, Leblanc said.

“We wanted to get much closer to the developer,” said Leblanc, who has a background at Shutterstock, Lightspeed HQ and Sunday. “Space is maturing.”

People understand the importance of publishing faster and with confidence, he said, noting that “all we’re talking about is testing validation; this is the hardest part of the CI delivery process.

CircleCI has made significant inroads into the space in a short time, announcing last May that it had raised $100 million and was valued at $1.7 billion. It also recently acquired Vamp, a cloud-native orchestration platform that automates software releases and rollbacks.

Going forward, the company will continue to refine its release orchestration and equip its customers with more powerful and faster validation and testing tools so they can code, test and package faster, Leblanc said. . This also includes increasing developer-level feature sets with respect to semantics and code structure.

The testing phase of any software solution is the hardest part, Leblanc pointed out, whether human or automated. So, the key is to get continuous validation and mapping of all trends.

Ponicode’s proprietary AI engine and CircleCI’s CI/CD platform provide developers with tools to write better code, test and debug it, and troubleshoot issues based on a deep understanding of their code. of the ecosystem it is in and the application running in production. In addition to improved quality, speed, and productivity, developers can access advanced features including test scoring, insights, and automatic code analysis to help discover and resolve issues. problems. All of this helps them discover errors and bugs as early in the process as possible, Leblanc said.

As CircleCI expands its capabilities and presence in the space, the company derives – and delivers – insights through its regular Software Delivery Status Report. The 2022 report looked at two years of data from more than a quarter of a billion workflows and nearly 50,000 organizations around the world on the company’s platform. The data was collected between December 1, 2019 and September 30, 2021. The report represents the largest analysis of developer productivity data and provides new insight into the devops practices of elite software teams.

Other key findings include:

  • Downtime during the holiday season poses more risk to a business than during the first year of COVID-19. Having robust test suites in place allows companies to rely on their tools no matter what time of year, ensuring teams can innovate no matter when team members are at work. office.
  • It is essential to prioritize an optimal team structure. Peak work is done on the CircleCI platform on Wednesdays between 6am and 7am Pacific. Because that would indicate developers are building software online at this point, simple day-to-day tweaks, like making sure meetings don’t conflict with his productivity, can greatly benefit the team (and the bottom line). the company).
  • Testing – not team size – dictates performance. Teams that prioritize test-driven development can rely on tools during market fluctuations, seasonal fluctuations, and other times of uncertainty (such as during a global pandemic).
  • Companies should aim for 10-minute pipelines. The goal should not just be devops maturity, but product maturity. This means that the code should be well tested and the pipelines will take longer to complete. CircleCI’s three most prestigious open source projects last between 10 and 11 minutes.

Stephen O’Grady, principal analyst for RedMonk, highlighted the importance of the report, its findings and the implications for the market. “One of the most important ways to improve the effectiveness of an organization’s application development is to systematically understand which behaviors are beneficial and which lead to inefficiencies,” he said. “By analyzing years of data on tens of thousands of organizations, CircleCI does just that.”

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