So last Sunday evening I was sitting in my attic with three balloons, about to go to bed, when my cheerful bear-like code-friend Olve tweeted

Just submitted my proposals to ACCU 2012. Only 35 minutes till submission dateline so hurry up. #accu2012

So I didn't go to bed. I created a new Bazaar repository, fired up Emacs, and started typing. To my mild alarm, the ACCU submission procedure this year is all through the web, rather than by emailing in and I almost blew it by misreading the sign up form and having to fill it in again. I hit Submit and read

Thank you for your submission. You may revise your abstract until the submission deadline in 28 seconds.
I passed on the option to revise and just went with it :)

Making Jenkins Better

Jenkins is a widely used and extremely capable continuous integration server. While it's been available since 2007, under its original name of Hudson, its popularity seems to have really taken off in the past year or so. One of the primary reasons for its success is its extremely flexible configuration. Jenkins has a quite a small core, with most of its functionality provided through plugins. Jenkins' plugins provide access to different source code control systems, a wide variety of build tools, test result tracking and charting, static analysis tools, and so on. Nearly every aspect of Jenkins can be customised via a plugin. At time of writing there are over 400 different Jenkins plugins available.

Four hundred is too few.

Over the past two years, we've gone from dabbling with CI to Jenkins forming part of our core toolset. Jenkins builds on checkin, yes, but also deploys builds into development environments. It runs performances tests and records the history. It tells us which build contains which bug fixes. It also does our release builds - tagging the repository, building from the tag, writes release notes telling us which work packs have been updated, pushes the build up onto the live server, and emails Ops to say everything is ready to go. The standard plugins provide the foundation, but our own plugins have put Jenkins at the heart of our development process.

If you want to get the most from Jenkins, you really should write your own plugins. This session will explain why you should, what you can change or add to Jenkins, and how to do it.

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Jez Higgins