Cover by John Ferguson Smart

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Your First Jenkins Build Job

Build jobs are at the heart of the Jenkins build process. Simply put, you can think of a Jenkins build job as a particular task or step in your build process. This may involve simply compiling your source code and running your unit tests. Or you might want a build job to do other related tasks, such as running your integration tests, measuring code coverage or code quality metrics, generating technical documentation, or even deploying your application to a web server. A real project usually requires many separate but related build jobs.

Our sample application is a simple Java implementation of John Conway’s “Game of Life.”[1] The Game of Life is a mathematical game which takes place on a two dimensional grid of cells, which we will refer to as the Universe. Each cell can be either alive or dead. Cells interact with their direct neighbors to determine whether they will live or die in the next generation of cells. For each new generation of cells, the following rules are applied:

  • Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbors dies of underpopulation.

  • Any live cell with more than three live neighbors dies of overcrowding.

  • Any live cell with two or three live neighbors lives on to the next generation.

  • Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbors becomes a live cell.

Our application is a Java module, built using Maven, that implements the core business logic of the Game of Life. We’ll worry about the user interfaces later on. For now, let’s see how we can ...

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