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Learn continuous integration (CI) with online courses

Continuous integration tools and methods help developers seamlessly collaborate on projects and build strong applications. Learn continuous integration with online courses from edX.

What is continuous integration?

Continuous integration (CI), continuous deployment (CD), and continuous delivery (CD) are all stages of the software creation and testing process that join to form a popular modern practice known as CI/CD. Across industries, tech professionals use continuous integration to streamline their work, automatically merging code changes from multiple contributors into a single repository that builds, tests, and runs an application. CI/CD makes collaboration easy because it records and stores all integrations in one place.Footnote 1

It can be helpful to think of CI/CD as a pipeline that incorporates automation, monitoring, and testing into one streamlined app development process. In continuous integration, teams build, test, and merge the application changes into one repository. From there, continuous deployment keeps applications deployable at all times by frequently updating code changes from multiple collaborators. Finally, continuous delivery automatically deploys those changes into production.Footnote 2

CI/CD can provide many benefits to software engineering teams. With it, they can:

  • Store and merge code changes from multiple developers 

  • Collaborate with other developers on code

  • Build automatic testing and verifications 

  • Run automatic quality and functionality tests

  • Incorporate revisions

  • Identify and fix bugs 

  • Keep applications deployable 

  • Push codebases into production 

  • Improve developer productivity and increase efficiency

  • Deliver faster updates and maximize development time

Tech professionals across multiple organizations leverage the advantages of the CI/CD pipeline. Some examples of CI/CD services include Azure CI/CD and Jenkins CI/CD.

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Continuous integration course curriculum

Continuous integration tutorials or continuous deployment courses may teach the fundamental aspects of CI/CD, instructing learners on how to use CI/CD processes to streamline and automate the DevOps lifecycle. These courses may also offer the chance to practice setting up CI/CD pipelines in real time. By gaining hands-on experience with CI/CD tools and processes, learners can prepare themselves for a future career as a software developer, software engineer, or DevOps engineer. 

The foundational concepts that may be covered in a continuous deployment tutorial can include:

  • What continuous deployment looks like in practice

  • How to make changes to code

  • How to understand DevOps as it relates to CI/CD

  • How to understand the CI/CD pipeline from start to finish

  • Which CI/CD platforms to use

Jobs that use continuous integration 

Professionals can use CI/CD to improve efficiency and effectiveness across the app development lifecycle. Three jobs that use continuous integration, continuous deployment, and continuous delivery are:

  • Software developer: These professionals focus on the design and implementation of specific software for computer systems or applications. 

  • Software engineer: These professionals work on a larger scale to develop and test entire computer applications and systems for organizations.Footnote 3

  • DevOps engineer: These professionals unify the automation processes in software development to streamline work and preserve the stability of an application or system.Footnote 4

Each of these jobs can have different educational requirements. However, you can begin building the skills you need to pursue a career in these fields with online learning opportunities delivered through edX. edX offers a variety of instructional options ranging from boot camps to full bachelor’s degree programs and master’s degree programs. 

Become a DevOps engineer who uses CI/CD 

A DevOps engineer uses CI/CD to streamline workflows and enhance productivity within the software development lifecycle. CI/CD helps DevOps engineers automate, continuously monitor, and improve application software.Footnote 5 Experience in software development and system administration along with thorough knowledge across all stages of the CI/CD pipeline can help prepare learners for working in this field. If you are interested in pursuing DevOps jobs, consider whether an online learning pathway such as a coding boot camp or a bachelor's in computer science or data science can help provide you with the knowledge you need to achieve your professional goals.