I vividly remember one of my first sightings of a large software project. I was taking a summer internship at a large English electronics company. My manager, part of the QA group, gave me a tour of a site and we entered a huge depressing warehouse stacked full with cubes. I was told that this project had been in development for a couple of years and was currently integrating, and had been integrating for several months. My guide told me that nobody really knew how long it would take to finish integrating. From this I learned a common story of software projects: integration is a long and unpredictable process. But this needn't be the way. This contrast isn't the result of an expensive and complex tool. When I've described this practice to people, I commonly find two reactions: "it can't work (here)" and "doing it won't make much difference". The term 'Continuous Integration' originated with the Extreme Programming development process, as one of its original twelve practices.
Related: Continuous Integration
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