GitHub Actions

Published: Apr 13, 2021
Apr 2021

CI servers and build tools are some of the oldest and most widely used in our kit. They run the gamut from simple cloud-hosted services to complex, code-defined pipeline servers that support fleets of build machines. Given our experience and the wide range of options already available, we were initially skeptical when GitHub Actions were introduced as another mechanism to manage the build and integration workflow. But the opportunity for developers to start small and easily customize behavior means that GitHub Actions are moving toward the default category for smaller projects. It's hard to argue with the convenience of having the build tool integrated directly into the source code repository. An enthusiastic community has emerged around this feature and that means a wide range of user-contributed tools and workflows are available to get started. Tools vendors are also getting on board via the GitHub Marketplace. However, we still recommend you proceed with caution. Although code and Git history can be exported into alternative hosts, a development workflow based on GitHub Actions can't. Also, use your best judgment to determine when a project is large or complex enough to warrant an independently supported pipeline tool. But for getting up and running quickly on smaller projects, it's worth considering GitHub Actions and the ecosystem that is growing around them.