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Automated Code Development

Automated Code Development needCode

In a nutshell

This case study showcases the significant project undertaken by a dedicated DevOps engineer at needCode to create an Automatic Code Development System. The primary objective of this internal system was to streamline and optimize the daily work of developers, leading to increased productivity and improved work quality. The engineer actively collaborated in co-creating an automated code build, test, and release system, with a focus on modernizing the existing codebase. The ultimate goal was to support the development team in their day-to-day operations, fostering a culture of efficiency and innovation that would enable the company to grow at an accelerated pace.

Project overview

Project Duration:

03.2022 – ongoing

Team Setup:

1 x DevOps Engineer

Technology:

Docker, Git, GitLab CI/CD, Python

Client Requirements

The client sought to establish a comprehensive CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery) environment to accommodate multiple embedded products and developers. The envisioned setup aimed to cover the entire development lifecycle, from building code for various platforms to conducting unit tests, system tests on real devices, and integration tests. Additionally, the environment needed to facilitate the generation of customer-facing SDKs.

Project Scope

The project’s scope encompassed the following key aspects:

  • Designing and developing an internal Automatic Code Development System tailored to the specific needs and workflows of the development team.
  • Implementing automation for code building, testing, and releasing processes, significantly reducing manual efforts and minimizing the chances of errors.
  • Co-creating and modernizing the existing codebase to align with industry best practices and ensure scalability and maintainability.
  • Providing ongoing support to the development team, addressing challenges, and optimizing the system for continuous improvement.
  • Collaborating with cross-functional teams to integrate the Automatic Code Development System into the company’s software development lifecycle.

 

Approach

The DevOps engineer adopted a systematic approach to accomplish the project objectives:

  • Conducted in-depth discussions with the development team to identify pain points and bottlenecks in the existing development process.
  • Designed a comprehensive plan for the Automatic Code Development System, aligning it with the team’s requirements and the company’s growth objectives.
  • Utilized cutting-edge technologies and automation tools to build a robust and efficient system for code building, testing, and release.
  • Collaborated with developers to modernize the codebase, optimizing it for better performance, maintainability, and scalability.
  • Provided continuous support, training, and knowledge sharing to ensure seamless adoption and utilization of the system.

Challenges and Goals

This project faced multiple challenges, from dealing with an old framework and complex dependencies to handling extensive code builds and limited testing environments.

  • Legacy Framework: Dealing with an outdated framework that was originally created to meet the company’s specific needs years ago.
  • Project Dependencies: Navigating complex dependencies between various projects, making modular updates or isolated testing challenging.
  • Hardware Constraints: Managing large inter-dependencies on actual hardware platforms where tests were executed, which limited testing scalability.
  • Extensive Codebase: Handling a large amount of code that required lengthy build times and long-running tests, impacting the speed of the CI/CD pipeline.
  • Resource Limitations: Operating within the confines of a limited number of test environments, which created bottlenecks in the testing process due to the high volume of tests.

Business Impact

The implementation of the Automatic Code Development System resulted in several notable business impacts:

  • Increased Developer Productivity: The streamlined development process and automated workflows allowed developers to focus more on coding and innovation, reducing time spent on manual tasks.
  • Improved Code Quality: The modernization of the codebase and automated testing led to enhanced code quality, reducing the number of defects and improving software reliability.
  • Faster Time-to-Market: The efficient code building and release processes accelerated the time-to-market for new features and products, giving the company a competitive edge.
  • Scalability and Growth: The system’s scalability and seamless integration allowed the company to handle increased workloads and support rapid business growth.

Results and Achievements

The DevOps engineer’s efforts and expertise resulted in significant achievements:

  • Successful development and implementation of the Automatic Code Development System tailored to the development team’s needs.
  • Automation of code building, testing, and release processes, reducing manual efforts and increasing efficiency.
  • Modernization of the codebase, enhancing performance, maintainability, and scalability.
  • Continued support and collaboration with the development team, fostering a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.

Conclusion

The DevOps engineer’s dedication and commitment to creating an Automatic Code Development System had a transformative impact on the company’s development process. By streamlining workflows, automating tasks, and modernizing the codebase, the engineer empowered the development team to work more efficiently, resulting in increased productivity and higher code quality. The successful implementation of the system laid a solid foundation for the company’s growth and competitiveness, positioning it as a leading player in the industry. This case study exemplifies the significance of DevOps practices and automation in driving business success and fostering a culture of continuous improvement within organizations.

Key points

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Maintenance (Post-Release Support)

When your product is successfully launched and available on the market we provide ongoing support and maintenance services to ensure your product remains competitive and reliable. This includes prompt resolution of any reported issues through bug fixes and updates.

We continuously enhance product features based on user feedback and market insights, optimizing performance and user experience.

Our team monitors product performance metrics to identify areas for improvement and proactively addresses potential issues. This phase aims to sustain product competitiveness, ensure customer satisfaction, and support long-term success in the market.

Commercialization (From MVP to Product

Our software team focuses on completing the full product feature range, enhancing the user interface and experience, and handling all corner cases. We prepare product software across the whole lifecycle by providing all necessary procedures, such as manufacturing support and firmware upgrade.

We also finalize the product's hardware design to ensure robustness, scalability and cost-effectiveness.

This includes rigorous testing procedures to validate product performance, reliability, and security. We manage all necessary certifications and regulatory compliance requirements to ensure the product meets industry standards and legal obligations.

By the end of this phase, your product is fully prepared for mass production and commercial deployment, with all documentation and certifications in place.

Prototyping (From POC to MVP)

Our development team focuses on implementing core product features and use cases to create a functional Minimum Viable Product (MVP). We advance to refining the hardware design, moving from initial concepts to detailed PCB design allowing us to assemble first prototypes. Updated documentation from the Design phase ensures alignment with current project status. A basic test framework is established to conduct preliminary validation tests.

This prepares the product for real-world demonstrations to stakeholders, customers, and potential investors.

This phase is critical for validating market readiness and functionality before proceeding to full-scale production.

Design (From Idea to POC)

We meticulously select the optimal technology stack and hardware components based on your smart product idea with detailed use cases and feature requirements (Market Requirements Document / Business Requirements Document). Our team conducts thorough assessments of costs, performance metrics, power consumption, and resource requirements.

Deliverables include a comprehensive Product Requirements Document (PRD), detailed Software Architecture plans, an Initial Test Plan outlining validation strategies, Regulatory Compliance Analysis to ensure adherence to relevant standards, and a Proof of Concept (POC) prototype implemented on breakout boards.

This phase aims to validate the technical feasibility of your concept and establish a solid foundation for further development.

If you lack a validated idea and MRD/BRD, consider utilizing our IoT Strategic Roadmap service to gain insights into target markets, user needs, and desired functionality. Having a structured plan in the form of an IoT Strategic Roadmap before development begins is crucial to mitigate complications in subsequent product development phases.