Last fall, at the Jenkins User Conference – US West (JUC), we asked JUC attendees to take a survey. Almost 250 of you did – and thanks to your input, we have some interesting insights into what you are doing with Jenkins.
Back in 2012, at the time of the last community survey, 83% of you felt that Jenkins was mission-critical. By 2015, the percentage saying that Jenkins was mission-critical was 92%. Additionally, echoing the importance of Jenkins, 89% of respondents said their use of Jenkins had increased over the last year, while 11% said it had stayed the same. 0% said that it had decreased.
The trend in the industry over the last couple of years has been to adopt continuous delivery (CD), thus pushing automation further down the pipeline, from development all the way into production. Jenkins is readily adaptable to this trend, since it is an orchestrator of automation processes but not tied to any specific phase of software delivery. With its extensible architecture and unparalleled plugin ecosystem, Jenkins can integrate with almost any technology used in any phase of software delivery.
The trend to CD is clearly reflected amongst the community: 59% of respondents are using Jenkins for continuous integration (CI), but an additional 30% have extended CI into CD and are manually deploying code to production. Finally, 11% are practicing continuous deployment – they have extended CI to CD and are deploying code automatically into production.
Another trend tied to CD adoption and DevOps is the frequent deployment of incremental releases to production. Of those utilizing continuous delivery practices, 26% are deploying code at least once per day. Another 37% are deploying code at least once per week.
In keeping with the move to CD, 30% of survey takers are already using the relatively new Pipeline plugin to automate their software delivery pipelines. Of those not using the Pipeline plugin, 79% plan to adopt it in the next 12 months.
Survey takers multi-task with Jenkins, using it for many different activities. 97% of survey takers use it for build – no surprise, since that is where Jenkins got its start, but fully 58% now also use it for deployment activities, too.
When the 2012 community survey was conducted, container technology was not as well understood as it is today, and many didn’t know what a “Docker” was. Fast-forward four years and fully 96% of those using Linux containers are using Docker. Containerization has been a huge trend and, when coupled with automation, is revolutionizing the way application infrastructure is delivered. When coupled with Jenkins as an automation engine, containers help accelerate software delivery by providing rapid access to lightweight environments. Fortunately, Jenkins plays well with containers and robust community plugins exist for both Docker and Kubernetes.
The Jenkins improvements most desired by survey takers were: quality/timely bug fixes, a better UI and more documentation/examples. Interestingly, Jenkins 2.0 - which is just about to officially launch, takes a big step in improving the UI and the new Jenkins.io website takes a big step towards providing improved, centralized documentation. Nice to see community concerns being addressed!
Finally…and perhaps to some, most importantly, your favorite Star Wars character was…R2-D2, followed by Obi-Wan and Darth Vader. Yoda and Han Solo also got a fair amount of votes. The votes for Jar-Jar Binks and Jabba the Hutt left us puzzled…Interestingly, BB-8 had a write-in vote and the new Star Wars movie hadn’t even come out yet.
As to where the community is headed, our predictions for the next Jenkins community survey are:
- More Jenkins users will have transitioned from just continuous integration to continuous delivery, and more will even be performing automated deployments
- The Pipeline plugin will have more uptake and will become an essential plugin to those wanting to automate software pipelines and particularly to those wanting everything-as-code
- Docker (and Kubernetes) plugin usage will climb
- BB-8 will be the next favorite Star Wars character! <3
See you at Jenkins World, September 13-15, in Santa Clara, California! Register now for the largest Jenkins event on the planet in 2016 – and get the Early Bird discount. The Call for Papers is also still open – so submit a talk and share your Jenkins knowledge with the community.