Continuous integration

Continuous integration is the practice of having a build server regularly compile and test the latest code base. Using continuous integration has many advantages:

  • Developers can be alerted by the build server when a recent commit will not compile (“breaks the build”) or fails tests.
  • When development slows down, the build server continues to regularly download and compile the app, alerting developers to bit rot.
  • In cases where a project’s test suite takes a long time to run, the burden can be shifted to the build server by creating a temporary “staging” branch.
  • Build servers are an ideal “outside tester” for your build process. They don’t share the peculiarities of your shell environment, home directory, /usr/local/bin directory, etc.

Wikipedia lists even more advantages. Continuous integration is not much less important than source control and build automation; it should be a part of most of your projects!


Set up a free hosted Jenkins

Add a build status image to your README file

Integrate IRC and Twitter (seriously!)

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