Trade-offs in continuous integration: Assurance, security, and flexibility

Michael Hilton, Nicholas Nelson, Timothy Tunnell, Darko Marinov, Danny Dig

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Continuous integration (CI) systems automate the compilation, building, and testing of software. Despite CI being a widely used activity in software engineering, we do not know what motivates developers to use CI, and what barriers and unmet needs they face. Without such knowledge, developers make easily avoidable errors, tool builders invest in the wrong direction, and researchers miss opportunities for improving the practice of CI. We present a qualitative study of the barriers and needs developers face when using CI. We conduct semi-structured interviews with developers from different industries and development scales. We triangulate our findings by running two surveys. We find that developers face trade-offs between speed and certainty (Assurance), between better access and information security (Security), and between more configuration options and greater ease of use (Flexibility). We present implications of these trade-offs for developers, tool builders, and researchers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationESEC/FSE 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 11th Joint Meeting on Foundations of Software Engineering
EditorsAndrea Zisman, Eric Bodden, Wilhelm Schafer, Arie van Deursen
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages197-207
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450351058
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 21 2017
Event11th Joint Meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering, ESEC/FSE 2017 - Paderborn, Germany
Duration: Sep 4 2017Sep 8 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering
VolumePart F130154

Other

Other11th Joint Meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering, ESEC/FSE 2017
CountryGermany
CityPaderborn
Period9/4/179/8/17

Keywords

  • Automated testing
  • Continuous integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

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  • Cite this

    Hilton, M., Nelson, N., Tunnell, T., Marinov, D., & Dig, D. (2017). Trade-offs in continuous integration: Assurance, security, and flexibility. In A. Zisman, E. Bodden, W. Schafer, & A. van Deursen (Eds.), ESEC/FSE 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 11th Joint Meeting on Foundations of Software Engineering (pp. 197-207). (Proceedings of the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering; Vol. Part F130154). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3106237.3106270