Automation and the SDLC
Automating the software development life cycle has been one of the highest priorities for teams since development became a profession. We know that automation can cut down on burnout and increase efficiency, giving back time to ourselves and our teams to dig in and bust out innovative ideas. If it’s not obvious by now, here at Armory we value automation (cough cough, continuous deployment, cough cough). We’re here to sound the alarm on what we see as the next big section of continuous integration/continuous deployment: continuous communication. After all, if a deployment is released in the metaphorical forest, but no one knows it’s been approved to commit to production, does it really get released?
Continuous Deployment: The Automation of CD
Continuous delivery has evolved to continuous deployment. While continuous delivery still exists, it’s no longer the most efficient way to release code.
The switch to continuous deployment gives developers time back to focus on the big picture and vision for their products, returns time in their day to build great code, and also removes the pressure of release days. SRE’s benefit from continuous deployment from the improvement in time savings and risk reduction that naturally come from this deployment style. This allows them the freedom to push the gas and accelerate daily tasks, reducing the time it takes to get the final product out. And of course, the real winner is our end-users. Better code iterated on quickly means a better experience, increasing customer satisfaction, loyalty, and likelihood of continuing to use the product.
Many of the benefits of continuous delivery vs continuous deployment come from the automation aspect that improves the lives of everyone involved with interacting with code releases, just like continuous communication.
Continuous Communication: The Automation of Communication
Software development teams (in particular, those who practice continuous deployment) are shipping faster and more iteratively than ever before, allowing them to create tremendous value for their users. But the sheer volume of product changes shipped has made release communication exponentially more challenging to manage. Enter continuous communication through Makelog.
Makelog makes it easy for software development teams to share product changes at the right time with customers and the internal teams that serve them. By automatically surfacing relevant changes in real-time and enabling you to share via your changelog, Slack, or email with just a few clicks, Makelog allows you to effortlessly get stakeholders on the same page.
Understanding how the benefits of continuous deployments and continuous communication have so many of the same benefits, Makelog and Armory worked together to create a seamless way to connect to easily allow all of our users to reap the rewards of this duo.
Armory and Makelog: Better together
What happens when we make updates that other teams are waiting on, internal or external, and no one lets them know it’s available to review or use? Frustration on internal teams, loss of confidence for external users, and software that doesn’t see the light of day if it gets stuck in the process internally due to lack of communication. We use Makelog at Armory to make sure this doesn’t happen.
Unobstructed Change Visibility
One of the biggest challenges that we solved was creating unobstructed change visibility across teams and environments. By connecting CD-as-a-Service and Makelog, we provide visibility into what changes are available in each environment. All of sudden multiple functions (engineers, pms, techwriters, qa) were working together more efficiently, roadblocks were removed, and code moved from staging to production faster. And when code reached production, customers got concise, customer facing communication about the change.
Automation, Innovation, and CI/CD/CC
Innovation is what we all want for our software teams, our products, and our companies. We spend hours thinking about what we could do to improve our code that generates real, tangible results for our end-users, and it’s incredibly important that we do. Automation has been a key component of the SDLC for many years now, and as we (as an industry) continue to improve continuous integration, continuous deployment, we must now think about continuous communication.