Getting software released to users is often a painful, risky, and time-consuming process. This tutorial sets out the principles and technical practices that enable rapid, incremental delivery of high quality, valuable new functionality to users. Through automation of the build, deployment, and testing process, and improved collaboration between developers, testers and operations, delivery teams can get changes released in a matter of hours–sometimes even minutes–no matter what the size of a project or the complexity of its code base.
In this tutorial we analyze each stage of the delivery process from development through testing to release, discussing at each stage how to improve collaboration and increase feedback so as to make the delivery process as fast and efficient as possible. At the heart of the tutorial is a pattern called the deployment pipeline, which involves the creation of a living system that models your organization's value stream for delivering software. We spend the first half of the tutorial introducing this pattern, and discussing how to incrementally automate the build, test and deployment process, culminating in continuous deployment.
In the second half of the tutorial, we introduce agile infrastructure, including the use of Puppet to automate the management of testing and production environments. We'll discuss automating data management, including migrations. Development practices that enable incremental development and delivery will be covered at length, including a discussion of why branching is inimical to continuous delivery, and how practices such as branch by abstraction and componentization provide superior alternatives that enable large and distributed teams to deliver incrementally.