Circuit Break Podcast #415: CI/CD, We Salute You with Brenden Duncombe

Podcast Title: CI/CD, We Salute You with Brenden Duncombe

Release Date: 2024-01-30

Episode: #415

This week Parker and Stephen welcome Brenden Duncombe to the show to discuss the pros and cons of continuous integration and continuous delivery/deployment (aka CI/CD) for hardware. Continuous integration (CI) refers to the practice of automatically and frequently integrating code changes into a shared source code repository. Continuous delivery and/or deployment (CD) is a two-part process that refers to the integration, testing, and delivery of code changes. In theory, CI/CD helps organizations avoid bugs and code failures while maintaining a continuous cycle of software development and updates, but we wanted to learn more about this with Brenden, so Parker and Stephen asked him about CI/CD, and also covered topics like:

Podcast Audio:

Podcast Notes:

  • Brenden’s product development background
  • “What is a Director of Customer Engineering?”
  • A brief history of CI/CD
  • Why it’s the opposite of a nightmare
  • Unit tests for software…how does it work for hardware?
  • Pinball Wizardry
  • A “smearing” vs. a “silo”
  • Test-driven dev benefits over the entire dev cycle
  • Is CI/CD a hard concept to sell?
  • How to make the investment worthwhile
  • The Hardware Regression Struggle
  • When start-ups aren’t really prepared for contract manufacturers
  • What is the ideal development cycle?
  • Building something for your contract manufacturer? Always build two
  • Teenage Engineering
  • Prep your firmware people with dev boards before the hardware reaches them
  • “Like taking your specification doc and writing a test doc on top of that”
  • Standard Fixtures and Future MacroFab Projects
  • more!

About Our Guest:

Brenden Duncombe is the Director of Customer Engineering at MacroFab. His extensive experience in Electrical and Systems Engineering, and his leadership in steering engineering teams from concept to manufacturing, make him an essential voice at Macrofab.

Relevant Links


Great episode! I moved from C to embedded Rust a couple years ago and apart from the obvious language benefits, the quality of the tooling has been the biggest game changer for me. We also use HIL tests at the framework/HAL level in embassy in CI/CD via teleprobe

Nice to hear that other people are attempting this process with hardware!

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