13 CI/CD Best Practices for Your DevOps Journey

Modern software development demands fast-paced improvements which can be overwhelming for many businesses. CI/CD practices allow businesses to streamline processes through automated development, testing, and deployment. These best practices empower the development of high-quality software and application that meets the user’s requirements. 

Developing and managing your CI/CD pipelines can be overwhelming, especially for businesses starting their DevOps journey. Businesses can start by choosing relevant tools enabling robust testing and deployment processes. CI/CD practices play an important role in providing guidance and insights to help the team navigate the issues of DevOps and achieve their desired goals. 

To understand and implement better, we will delve into 13 CI/CD practices and how they can be implemented in your DevOps journey. 

What is CI/CD?

CI/CD is a software development approach that combines Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD). CI involves automatically integrating code changes from multiple developers into a shared repository, facilitating early detection of integration issues. It enables teams to build and test code changes frequently, ensuring the stability and quality of the software. On the other hand, CD focuses on automating the process of packaging, testing, and deploying software to production environments, enabling teams to deliver new features and updates rapidly and reliably.

Related Read: How to Implement Continuous Integration for Quality Automation in Product Engineering?

13 CI/CD Best Practices for DevOps Teams

CI/CD practices help businesses to automate the software development process, reduce human errors, and increase the overall productivity of the team. Businesses can achieve their DevOps goals, including quality delivery, improved collaboration, and more reliable software release. Businesses can streamline the software development process by automating the deployment of code changes, reducing the time it takes to identify errors, and increasing efficiency. Below, we have listed such 13 efficient CI/CD practices which will help you in a smooth DevOps journey; 

1. Automate As Much As Possible

Migrating from manual to automated processes can be a challenging journey for various businesses. Before starting with the automation journey, it is important to determine which processes, services, and frameworks are to be automated on priority. Predetermining the automation requirements is always best to start with the most critical processes- such as compiling code or performing tests, which will have a great impact on daily operations. 

Automation in testing enhances the agility of the software development process, enabling faster release times and less cost. Developers can identify vulnerabilities quickly and efficiently with automated code reviews and test functionalities. With automated testing, developers can have more time rather focusing on other non-critical aspects. 

2. Use Version Control

Managing your projects efficiently requires relevant and high-quality tools, and Jira and Git are the most popular. Git tracks changes made in your code base and identifies bugs or vulnerabilities. Git offers some wonderful features to manage your versions of the product and collaborate with other team members, which helps in delivering high-quality and error-free software delivery. 

Jira provides visibility of your project modifications on a customized dashboard. Through this dashboard, you can keep track of project versions and evaluate the progress of the application or system. Such tools can help you to understand your progress and improvements over the project. 

3. Write Tests

Testing your software frequently ensures smooth functionality and high-quality delivery to your users. Businesses can identify issues and vulnerabilities in the early deployment stage, reducing errors in the software or application. Frequent testing allows seamless operations, analysis systems, and efficient automated testing tools.

Businesses can design test modules covering all the possible issues and edge cases. These tests should be suitable for multiple platforms and configurations to ensure the applications or systems work seamlessly in different environments. 

4. Continuous Integration

In modern development, Continuous Integration (CI) has become an essential aspect of the process. CI accelerates the process of validating the changes with automated testing that checks for errors or conflicts that could impact the app’s performance. CI helps maintain the stability and reliability of the application and promotes quicker turnaround times on updates and new features.  

CI enables developers to identify issues promptly and consistently, ensuring that the app runs seamlessly every time. It also promotes better communication, free bugs in builds, and an efficient workflow for all the stakeholders. 

5. Focus on Continuous Delivery and Deployment

With continuous delivery, every step in the process requires automation for testing and releasing the code. The process helps the operation team deploy an app into production easily and quickly. Automation integration in each stage ensures a reliable and efficient approach while keeping up with market trends. 

Continuous deployment is considered the final stage in CI/CD pipeline. It extends the automated delivery process that sends a production-ready build to your core repository. Companies can automatically deploy an application straight into production without any manual workloads. However, with automatic deploys, it is important to have efficiently designed tests to identify and address issues before it impacts the user experience. 

6. Use Containerization

Containerization technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes provide a lightweight and seamless way to package, isolate and manage applications and their dependencies. Containers like Docker are portable, consistent, and isolated, ensuring that applications run smoothly across different environments. 

Kubernetes provides advanced features for workload balancing, scaling, self-healing, and service discovery, which can help in easy containerization in the CI/CD pipeline. Applications packaged in containers can be easily transferred between development, testing, staging, and environments, reducing the risk of issues.

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7. Maintain a Clean Build

Clean build establishes a well-defined and monitored build environment, reduces dependencies on external aspects, and adheres to set guidelines and best practices. Clean build help ensure consistency, functionality, efficiency, and maintainability in the software or application. With clean build practices, you can have a reliable delivery of software solutions tailored to users’ needs. 

Automated build processes are important as they streamline operations and help develop a highly functional product. Various automation tools like Jenkins, Travis CI, and GitLab CI/CD help achieve efficient development processes. The tools can help in reducing workloads and manual errors in the software development lifecycle. 

8. Monitor Performance

Monitoring the performance of your application is one of the best practices for CI/CD. Monitoring involves continuously tracking and evaluating software application performance in different environments and functionalities. When you start monitoring the performance of your application, it helps identify potential bottlenecks, performance issues, and deviations from expected behavior, allowing faster optimization and improvements in the application

Utilize APM tools to provide insights into the application’s performance, including transaction tracing, coding diagnostics, and infrastructure monitoring. Tests like synthetic testing stimulate to mimic user interactions and monitor performance under different environments. 

9. Cloud Native CI/CD

Cloud Native CI/CD helps automate cloud-native application development and delivery process. Cloud-native CI/CD integrates automation technologies to ensure that changes to the code are much faster and more reliable. It can be implemented using various tools like Jenkins, Circle CI, Travis CI, Azure Pipelines, and AWS CodePipelines. 

Cloud-Native CI/CD can help teams to improve code quality by automating the testing process. Businesses can reduce costs in their development processes which are automated and processed efficiently. 

10. Infrastructure-as-code Integration

Infrastructure-as-code enables automation and consistency in an infrastructure which results in efficiency and reliability. IaC tools like TerraForm and AWS CloudFormation help you define your infrastructure in code. The automation reduces the time and effort required to deploy and ensures consistency in the infrastructure. 

IaC helps get greater visibility and control of your infrastructure, which can help identify the issues and address any impact on the performance.

11. Machine Learning and AI

In today’s business landscape Machine Learning and AI are becoming increasingly popular, which has helped improve the accuracy and efficiency of testing and deployment of the application. Machine learning can be utilized to automate the test and generate test reports on the codebase.  

AI technologies can help developers create models that estimate the outcome of different tests and deployments without articulating manual efforts. Businesses can make better decisions and deploy the changes accordingly depending on the efficiency of AI and ML. 

12. Microservice and Containers

Microservice and containers help improve the agility, scalability, and portability of software development and deployment process. Microservices and containers can make it easier to test and deploy code changes. As each service is self-contained, tests can run seamlessly and independently, making the deployment process faster. 

Microservice and containers can make it easier to migrate the application from one environment to another without making any changes to the code. 

13. Low/No-Code Automation

Low-code automation enables you to create CI/CD pipelines using a graphical user interface (GUI). No-code automation allows you to create CI/CD pipeline without developing a code. Both low/no-code automation allows the non-technical stakeholders to create and manage the CI/CD pipeline.

It helps make the development cost-efficient and faster, ensuring scalability and security in the system or application. With scalability, low/no-code automation helps you monitor your CI/CD pipelines to ensure seamless workloads and identify potential bottlenecks.



Leverage CI/CD Best Practices to Empower Your DevOps Journey

Starting with your DevOps journey and implementing CI/CD best practices can revolutionize your way of developing and deploying software or an application. The practices such as version control, test-driven development, continuous integration and delivery, containerization, maintaining a clean build, and monitoring performance can help streamline the software development and maintenance process. 

Implementing such best practices can help businesses stay competitive in the ever-evolving digital landscape. The practices encourage delivering high-quality software products faster, meeting the ever-increasing demands of clients and end-users. The journey toward DevOps excellence is a continuous process. However, embracing the CI/CD best practices refine the process and tools, which leads to greater success. 

Content Team

This blog is from Mindbowser‘s content team – a group of individuals coming together to create pieces that you may like. If you have feedback, please drop us a message on contact@mindbowser.com

Frequently Asked Questions

How does CI/CD improve software development?

CI/CD improves software development by enabling faster and more efficient delivery of high-quality software. It promotes frequent code integration, automated testing, and streamlined deployment processes, which reduce errors, enhances code stability, and enable rapid feedback cycles. CI/CD also fosters collaboration among team members and ensures a smooth and reliable software release process.

What are the key benefits of implementing CI/CD?

Implementing CI/CD brings several benefits to software development teams. It helps reduce manual errors and time spent on repetitive tasks, increases productivity and efficiency, accelerates time-to-market, enables faster feedback and bug fixes, enhances code quality and stability, and promotes a culture of continuous improvement and collaboration.

What tools can be used for implementing CI/CD best practices?

Various tools are available for implementing CI/CD best practices, such as Jenkins, GitLab CI/CD, Travis CI, CircleCI, and Azure DevOps. These tools provide features like automated build and deployment pipelines, integration with version control systems, testing frameworks, and monitoring tools, making implementing and managing CI/CD processes easier.

How can security be ensured in CI/CD pipelines?

Security in CI/CD pipelines can be ensured by implementing various practices. This includes using secure coding practices, incorporating security testing in the CI/CD pipeline, conducting vulnerability scans and code analysis, enforcing access controls and authentication mechanisms, regularly updating dependencies, and adhering to industry security standards and best practices.

What role does testing play in CI/CD best practices?

Testing plays a crucial role in CI/CD best practices. It ensures the quality and reliability of software by conducting automated tests at different stages of the development process, including unit tests, integration tests, and end-to-end tests. Testing helps identify and fix issues early, prevents regressions, and provides confidence in the stability and functionality of the software.

How can CI/CD best practices be adopted in an organization?

Adopting CI/CD best practices requires a combination of technical implementation and cultural change. It involves establishing automated build and deployment pipelines, integrating testing and quality assurance processes, fostering collaboration and communication among teams, providing training and support for developers, and continuously improving the CI/CD workflows based on feedback and metrics.

What are some common challenges in implementing CI/CD best practices?

Some common challenges in implementing CI/CD best practices include overcoming resistance to change, ensuring consistent and reliable infrastructure, managing complex dependencies and legacy systems, maintaining proper version control, addressing security concerns, and effectively managing the cultural shift toward continuous integration and delivery.


How can continuous improvement be achieved in CI/CD practices?

Continuous improvement in CI/CD practices can be achieved by regularly reviewing and analyzing metrics and feedback, identifying areas for improvement, implementing changes to streamline processes and enhance efficiency, conducting retrospectives and post-mortems, fostering a culture of learning and experimentation, and actively seeking feedback from development teams and stakeholders.

How does CI/CD impact the overall software development lifecycle?

CI/CD has a significant impact on the overall software development lifecycle. It shortens the feedback loop, enables faster iteration and delivery of features, improves code quality and stability, reduces the risk of errors and regressions, enhances collaboration and communication among teams, and promotes a culture of continuous integration, delivery, and improvement throughout

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