LinkedIn took a huge risk pausing all development for two months as it switched to a turbocharged new system known as “continuous deployment.” The gamble paid off big: LinkedIn now releases new web and app features twice per day, compared with…
StartUP Product‘s insight:
The move to continuous deployment was about solving concrete problems rather than spreading a doctrine.
Shifting from feature-branch-based development to the new continuous deployment system required halting all development for two months as LinkedIn trained staff, migrated old code, and built out the automated tools it needed to make the new system work.
“It was a pretty big risk the business took,” says Scott, “to look at its engineering team and say, ‘we’re going to completely change the way we do software… and somewhere in the middle of this two-month process you’re going to run across a bridge and burn it behind you.”
Under continuous deployment, a developer writes new code in tidy, discrete little chunks and quickly checks each chunk into the main line of software shared amongst all LinkedIn developers, a line known as “trunk” within the software version control systems standard in the tech industry.
Newly-added code is subjected to an elaborate series of automated tests designed to weed out any bugs.
Once the code passes the tests it is merged into trunk and cataloged in a system that shows managers what features are ready to go live on the site or in new versions of LinkedIn’s apps.