A Continuous Integration (CI) pipeline with tests that continuously pass and turn green is a major leverage point for velocity and reliability in modern software development, but it is hardly ever achieved or sustained. What is missing in the equation is a new class of solutions to complement existing tools and workflows.
This new class is called Software Flight Recording Technology (SFRT).
SFRT enables software engineering teams to record and capture all the details of a program’s execution, as it runs. The recorded output allows the team to then wind back the tape to any instruction that executed and see the full program state at that point.
Using SFRT to accelerate the resolution of software defects is not a one-and-done solution. Rather, it is a process that should be employed in perpetuity alongside other CI best-practices to ensure test suites remain green.
The workflow below represents the typical use of SFRT in modern development environments.
By following the workflow of flagging failing tests, re-running them under recording to capture a 100% reproducible test case, replaying the recording forwards and backwards, and then implementing a code fix, teams can de-risk their development pipelines. This perpetual cycle allows software engineering teams to maximize the efficacy of CI and ensures products are shipped on time, and with zero known failures.
To determine whether or not your current CI practices are aligned to your team's overall objectives, see our recent post on judging CI success.
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