Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing search engine is a classic example of a product that needs both change and continuity. Bing’s re-engineering process illustrates how all software is changing. The Bing team has said that one of the things holding the search engin back is stilted deployment cycle which restricts innovation. Code deployments occurred monthly and at certain times took longer to be released. Software builds consumed too much time.
Similar to a host of modern software development the Microsoft team had to become agile which means capability to deliver new code at a daily deployment rate.
For an organization which needed four weeks or more to deploy code, this transformation wasn’t easy. There were major technological and cultural challenges to confront. At each stage of code building as well as code deploying procedure the team evaluated what could be altered, resolved or sped up to help transition to a continuous delivery model. Habits developed due to years of coding habits had to be broken.
Bing’s developers now consistently surpass their original daily targets, often delivering new code several times a day. The organization boasts of deploying code as many as 20 times a week with nearly 4000 changes implemented each week to improve search results.
For modern business applications, this number of code changes per week is a regular phenomenon. What Bing does is to make sure that each code change submission undergoes a battery of 20,000 automated tests. The whole process takes 20 minutes until the new code is accepted.
The message here for all software developers is that concepts can be tested and developed much quicker than ever before. Whether Bing can surpass Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) in search is not the issue. It probably won’t, but the fact is that now software updates have to work much faster than they used to in order to survive in the modern software development space.