A Call to all CI Service Providers

| Posted: - Last updated:
| Tagged testing bdd tdd rant ci jenkins
| ~500wrds (~3min)

As a professional developer I test my code. Every check-in I do is tested either on Kabisa’s Jenkins server or on Travis CI Pro.

For open source projects there’s Travis CI. It’s free and a great way to get to know Travis.

Now, as an individual I have some side projects, most notably my own site, Ariejan.net. I value well written and well tested code as much for my own stuff as for my professional work. However, I don’t have a Jenkins CI server in my basement.

Looking around the internets there are a few CI services that can test my Ariejan.net Rails application, among them Cirlce CI, Atlassian Bamboo and Semaphore.

Now, the thing here is that to test the few projects I have (about four) it will cost me more to have the hosted in a CI services than actually running these apps.

  • Travis - $129/mo for 2 concurrent builds.
  • Circle CI - $49/mo for 10 private projects.
  • Semaphore - $39/mo for 5 private projects.
  • Bamboo - $20/mo for 10 jobs.¹

¹ Bamboo advertises $10/mo, but a $10/mo Jira subscription is also required.

As an individual, these prices are pretty steep for the few commits I make during the weekend.

Looking at Github and Heroku

Let’s take a look at github and heroku here. At heroku I pay nothing to host a site. Performance is limited, but it more often than not is sufficient for a side-project. Adding a worker or extra dyno costs about $38/mo. Still less than half of the CI services I mentioned.

Having private repos with Github is also quite cheap. You’ll get 5 for $7/mo. Which, converted, is about €1 per repo a month.

Now, as an individual developer, I’m more than happy to use these services for these relatively low fees.

Where are the cheap, individual CI services?

As an individual developer, this is what I need:

  • Unlimited, or at least 5-10 jobs/private projects.
  • Low monthly cost: $5 - $10.

What I don’t need is:

  • Concurrency and paralellisation
  • Immediate execution
  • 24/7 Support

I can do with a single worker doing one build at a time. I don’t write enterprise CRM software in my weekends, you know.

Also, I don’t expect my build to execute immediately. I don’t mind if there’s a job queue and I have to wait a bit longer to get back results.

Business opportunity?

IMHO there’s a business opportunity here. Github and Heroku are great examples of how giving something away for free (or cheap) to individual developers creates a market for their product.

I understand that CI takes a considerable amount of system resources and time, but having a good experience as an individual is more than likely to attrack people to your platform when they need a more profession plan.

Who’s stepping up to the plate?

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