Continuous Software Engineering and Beyond: Trends and Challenges

B. Fitzgerald and K. Stol (2014) Continuous Software Engineering and Beyond: Trends and Challenges, First International Workshop on Rapid Continuous Software Engineering (RCoSE) co-located with ICSE’14, Hyderabad, India

Throughout its short history, software development has been characterized by harmful disconnects between important activities e.g., planning, development and implementation. The problem is further exacerbated by the episodic and infrequent performance of activities such as planning, testing, integration and releases. Several emerging phenomena reflect attempts to address these problems. For example, the Enterprise Agile concept has emerged as a recognition that the benefits of agile software development will be sub- optimal if not complemented by an agile approach in related organizational function such as finance and HR. Continuous integration is a practice which has emerged to eliminate discontinuities between development and deployment. In a similar vein, the recent emphasis on DevOps recognizes that the integration between software development and its operational deployment needs to be a continuous one. We argue a similar continuity is required between business strategy and development, BizDev being the term we coin for this. These disconnects are even more problematic given the need for reliability and resilience in the complex and data-intensive systems being developed today. Drawing on the lean concept of flow, we identify a number of continuous activities which are important for software development in today’s context. These activities include continuous planning, continuous integration, continuous deployment, continuous delivery, continuous verification, continuous testing, continuous compliance,continuous security, continuous use, continuous trust, continuous run-time monitoring, continuous improvement (both process and product), all underpinned by continuous innovation. We use the umbrella term, “Continuous *” (continuous star) to identify this family of continuous activities.