Understanding CI/CD Pipeline, its Elements, and Characteristics of a Good CI/CD Pipeline

What is a CI/CD Pipeline?

Elements of CI/CD Pipeline

  1. Source: This is the first step where the pipeline gets triggered by the source code repository when a change in the code sends a notification to the CI/CD tool.
  2. Build: This stage is where the source code and all its dependencies are compiled to build a runnable instance of the software.
  3. Test: This stage is where automated tests are conducted to identify bugs, authenticate code accuracy, and evaluate the performance of the product.
  4. Release: This stage is where the code is taken to the repository once it clears the automated tests.
  5. Deploy: This stage is where the code is deployed into production.

Characteristics of Good CI/CD Pipelines

  1. Speed: It is normal to have multiple steps associated with a CI/CD pipeline, but a good CI/CD pipeline is one that completes all those steps or stages in minimal time. If the process takes days to move code through the pipeline, then there is a need to reconfigure the CI/CD pipeline.
  2. Automation: An automated CI/CD pipeline infrastructure is one of the key elements of the best pipeline. With automation, there is no or minimal manual interaction required to move code from integration, testing, and deployment stages.
  3. Consistency: A good CI/CD pipeline ensures that the deployment process is consistent across all the environments. With consistency, developers can be assured that the code will work in both QA and production stages, as the artifact is exactly the same.
  4. Framework of Feedback Loops: A good CI/CD pipeline ensures quality releases after undergoing countless integrated feedback loops, as each stage of the pipeline might loop back to the previous stage or even to the beginning. For example, bugs in source code won’t trigger build, bugs in the testing stage won’t trigger deployment, etc.

Final Thoughts



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