In Comquent we offer services in Quality Assurance and a very important part of ensuring a product of high quality, is to establish the right CI/CD processes. This means that we should also concentrate in the technical aspects of such an infrastructure and the “DevOps World – Jenkins World 2019” conference was a great opportunity not only for us, but also for all enthusiasts in the DevOps community to learn what’s new in the CI/CD world and educate themselves in all things about Jenkins. The event takes place once a year in a different city in Europe. This time it was held in Lisbon! We all had a great time sharing knowledge and listening to talks about Cloud evolution, Kubernetes, Jenkins and of course Jenkins X.
The “pre-conference day” as it is called, was the day that all training sessions took place. The participants of the conference were able to apply for CloudBees Core, Jenkins and Jenkins X trainings in order to gain the fundamental and advanced knowledge about CI/CD with Jenkins. With these sessions new people in the field had the option to apply for the actual exams that took place on Day 2, without any additional cost for everyone who purchased a ticket for the conference. Additionally, CloudBees organized the Partners Day where Comquent, as a new CloudBees partner now, had the opportunity to watch some insightful presentations about new CloudBees products and solutions like Flow, Rollout and Accelerator.
On day 2, the keynote set the pace and introduced what new is coming in the DevOps and Jenkins world. CloudBees presented its vision about solving the challenging problems in software delivery, problems that until now prevent the integration of technologies, teams and tools with business processes that matter. And the solution is the “Software Delivery Management” platform which is now open for everyone to join as a preview program. SDM aims to provide a common data layer to connect teams, tools and business metrics. Kohsuke Kawaguchi, the creator of Jenkins talked about the journey that started it all. Google Cloud partners were also on the stage and the new road ahead of us in the CI/CD world was revealing.
Kubernetes is the new standard for developing and orchestrating containerized applications in the Cloud. Tekton is a powerful pipeline execution engine and all this leads us to Jenkins X, the CI/CD solution for Kubernetes applications. CloudBees also revealed a new way of interacting with your cloud infrastructure in Jenkins X, introducing a new User Interface to easily monitor a pipeline or promote a build to production. And to make things even easier, companies can now join the “CloudBees CI/CD powered by Jenkins X” preview experience, where the installation and configuration of Kubernetes is not now a prerequisite, but it is offered as a service.
Other interesting talks were also happening throughout the day. One example was how to incorporate budget and security in the pipeline implementation and stop the pipeline if budget or security is out of certain limits (continuous verification of infrastructure). Another example was how to incorporate security scanning in a CI/CD pipeline.
This was the last day of the conference, where I decided to test my skills and take part in the exams in order to be a Certified Jenkins Engineer (CJE). About 80% of the questions were practical about the use of Jenkins, so on-hands Jenkins experience was also required. With a score of 82.22% I got officially certified so I could watch the final set of talks with more enthusiasm.
The last day included more advanced themes like canary deployments and using specific tools with Kubernetes and Jenkins X in order to establish rules related to network metrics when upgrading a version. For example, we can rollout updates selectively and only if the network metrics (gathered from Prometheus which is used for monitoring the cluster) of API communications, are above a certain threshold. And only if there are no errors reported, then continue and deploy to other nodes (progressive delivery). The last talks were focused about security in DevOps and Autonomous Real-time Testing (ART). With ART we can model the user stories of a complex system and generate a “just enough number” of test cases with the help of AI and Sigma functions, the ones that provide the best coverage.