5 more CI/CD misconceptions, explained

Explore common misunderstandings about continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) – and keep your DevOps progress on track
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A successful DevOps transformation requires an efficient and effective continuous integration and continuous delivery/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipeline. One step toward establishing effective CI/CD is to rule out common misconceptions that can delay progress or cause toil. Part one of this two-part series featured the top CI/CD misconceptions from the perspective of DevOps Institute ambassadors. Part two continues to explore these misperceptions.

Any organization moving toward DevOps maturity should consider whether it is being misled by some of these common assumptions. A misconception that I frequently encounter is the view that CI/CD is a potential replacement for the need for skilled humans. However, the purpose of CI/CD automation is to perform consistent, redundant tasks so that humans can be free to do work that requires unique skills and critical thinking.

[ How can DevOps accelerate your digital transformation initiative? Read also: Digital transformation: 10 more ways DevOps can help. ]

Here are some additional misconceptions, as shared by DevOps Institute Ambassadors:

Misconception: There's no heavy lifting

“Most people think that CI/CD tools completely automate the application lifecycle process. Not true. Some CI/CD engines do orchestration only. You build integrations to the rest of the ecosystem to achieve the heavy lifting of automated testing, configuration management, and deployments that make up the core of the process. In other words, it takes a village.” -Tracy Ragan, CEO and co-founder of DeployHub

Misconception: Customers don't want change that often

"Continuous delivery is not about delivering new features constantly. CD has two main purposes: First, CD is about operations. When things go sideways in the middle of the night, your customers want to change that quickly. We need the ability to quickly and safely repair production while we are tired and stressed at 3 a.m. We need a standardized and heavily automated quality process so that when we are already in a dumpster fire, we don’t make things worse by trying to invent a way to slam in a change because our standard delivery process takes many hours or days to execute. We continuously verify our hotfix process by using the hotfix process to deliver new changes daily. In a CD workflow, every change is an emergency change and emergency changes use our safest, best-tested quality process.

“Second, CD is about discovering and removing delivery constraints and toil. Development should be focused on delivering the right thing, not wasting time on how to get this change delivered. Using CD as the tool to eliminate the unneeded and automate verification, compliance, and security, we can relentlessly remove drag from the development process to reduce the drag from idea to delivery.” -Bryan Finster, distinguished software engineer, DoD Platform One

[ Join SKILup Day: CI/CD from DevOps Institute on July 22. Register here. ]

Misconception: Every build leads to production

“People think if they do a build via CI/CD that every build is deployed to production. This is not true. CI/CD is not just the process of pushing code to production – it gives the flexibility for developers to control what code can go into production, what code can be tested, and what is really needed in order to go to production. A CI/CD pipeline is only production-ready when it has gone through all the security and quality processes to be truly deployment-ready.” -Vishnu Vasudevan, head of product engineering and development, Opsera

Misconception: CI/CD is DevOps

“People assume that implementing CI/CD tools means that your organization is practicing DevOps. This is often not the case as there are mindsets, processes, people, and skills which also need to change.” -Jamal Walsh, technical product owner, The Very Group

Misconception: CI/CD makes deployment seamless

“CI/CD in the business realm means code getting deployed magically. Under the hood, there are several pieces of work that need to happen, and currently, there are several challenges preventing this wish from coming true. In simple terms, the business sees it as a pipeline from one end (developers) to the other end (deployment), but there are several leaks, causing the deployments to be not seamless.” -Sharath Dodda, IT design and development manager, TD Bank

 [ How can automation free up more staff time for innovation? Get the free eBook: Managing IT with Automation. ] 

What to read next

Jayne Groll is co-founder and CEO of the DevOps Institute (DOI). Jayne carries many IT credentials including ITIL Expert™, Certified ScrumMaster, Certified Agile Service Manager, DevOps Foundation and is a Certified Process Design Engineer (CPDE)™.

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