What we call it

Survey says...

Yesterday I asked:

So if “Continuous Integration” means, you know… actually integrating… continuously…

And “Continuous Integration” does not mean “A server/process that runs test on checkin”…

Then what’s a good name for the latter?

And you answered! I had several responses via email, and a large number on LinkedIn as well. Thanks!

Probably the most common answer, and also the one I think is the most accurate, was to call it a “build server” or “build pipeline”. Some prefer just “pipeline”.

While not everything the pipeline does is “building” in the strictest sense, it still feels about right to me.

Another well-reasoned response was to simply call it a “CI Server” in contrast to “CI the process.” “Owning a hammer doesn’t mean you use it, or that you’re good at hammering.” True!

However, due to the way people shorten words, I feel this is likely a big reason that people think “CI” means a server… They overhear someone talking about “Setting up CI” or “CI is down” etc, and start to think that CI is the server. And that’s the problem I want to overcome by changing my own vocabulary.

So until a better term comes along, my intention is to use “CI” exclusively to refer to the practice of continuous integration, and “build server/pipeline” to be the thing we use to enable CI by running our tests (and builds, etc) for us.

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