All about pushing, pulling and enjoying the view
The need for speed
On wednesday, the afternoon workshop was all about continuous integration (CI). The main
purpose of this exercise, according to the delaware experts, was to show us how difficult it can
be to set up a continuous pipeline, but also that, when it is set up, its benefits are immense.
But let’s fall back a bit first, with a small explanation of what continuous integration actually is.
It’s a way of developing within a company, meant to speed up results, while still keeping the
same standards of quality. The main thought behind it is to work in small batches and pushing
code multiple times a day, or for the big companies these numbers can go up to even 1 push
every few seconds.
But the difficulties with this is that every time you push, this code has to be compiled, tests have
to be ran and the code has to be deployed. This would be an enormous hassle to do manually
every time and would just slow down the development speed, which counteracts the effects we
That’s why all of this has to be automated. And that’s exactly what we did in the workshop. The
delaware experts had prepared a small batch of code for which we had to set up a CI pipeline.
There are many ways this can be done, but for this one, we used Microsoft Azure DevOps. This
tool allows a user to set up every single step that’s needed within the same working
There’s a lot to take in when first using DevOps, which can be a source of confusion, but that’s
just a side effect of the big amount of functionality it offers. This is also part of the difficulties the
experts wanted us to experience. But when diving deeper into the system, and with some
guidance, the required steps became clear. A session of only 3 hours is of course not enough to
show us the ins and outs of how every single thing in DevOps works, and that was also not the
purpose of this workshop. This was still only a broad view of everything that could be done, but
it was still enough to give us all an indication of the power that lies beneath this system and the
hassle but clear benefits that come with setting up a continuous integration system.
‘Dem delaware volke’
Reichstag, freely translated as the Parliament is one of the places you should visit in Berlin. So we did. Fast forward to 9 PM at the security check-up, standing there, in front of this enormous building. One of the first things that stands out is the sentence ‘Dem Deutsche volke’ (to the german people) inscripted at the entrance of the Reichstag. After the check-up we all entered an elevator the size of the average dorm room, which skyrocketed us 40 meters in the air to the top of the building. This is where the adventure starts, the Reichstag Dome.
This piece of art was constructed on top of the building to symbolize the reunification of Germany. As we walked our way around the dome we were greeted by the 360 degree skyline of Berlin, which, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful things Berlin has to offer. If one thing stands out about the dome, it has to be the mirrored cone, which reflects sunlight into the German parliament. After this wonderful visit we went back to the hotel, while others dared to challenge the nightlife of Berlin!
So if you're ever in Berlin, make sure you visit this gorgeous building. Trust us, it's worth it!
A special thanks to Diederik for organizing this visit!
By Ruben Wambacq (1st Master Informatics) and Thomas Vankerckhoven (1st Master Computer Science)