These 4 advantages of caching are a game-changer for development projects

Joseph Sibony
Joseph Sibony reading time: 6 minutes
March 7, 2024

Let’s be real for a second — Batman would be nothing without the Batcave.

No cool weapons cache. Nowhere to hang his Batsuit.

And definitely nowhere to park the Batmobile.

If only he’d had something like the Batcave to store it all. Somewhere to put it down for a hot minute and then pick everything back up where he left off.

That’s exactly what caching does for developers. (Minus the Bat-arangs).

Rather than forcing devs to build or acquire everything from scratch every single time they want to create something, caching allows them to keep it aside in a temporary place, saving it for a later date when they need it again.

In this blog post, we’ll take a deeper look at caching—including what it is and when it’s used—as well as the many key advantages of having caching in your development toolkit.

What is caching?

Let’s say you’re looking to buy a new pair of shoes (treat yourself). You go to the shoe store website, but it’s taking ages to load.

You close the tab in frustration. You go away, calm down with a cup of coffee, then come back to try again.

Only this time, when you reload the website again, the loading time miraculously speeds up.


Answer: this is caching at play.

Taking it right back to basics, ‘caching’ is the process of storing multiple different copies of data in a temporary location (or ‘cache’) so they can be accessed faster at a later time.

It’s used for software applications, servers, and web browsers, among other things.

But how does it really work?

In basic terms, a cache is a high-speed storage component that stores frequently accessed data or instructions closer to the processor.

By quickly delivering this cached information, it reduces the need to fetch data from the slower main memory or external storage, thereby improving overall system performance.

Now, let’s go back to our online shoe store example.

The website loaded much faster the second time because the browser had already downloaded the website contents for the first visit.

So, when you came back to finally buy those snazzy shoes, the content was instantly ready and waiting, vastly speeding up the page load time.

What are the advantages of caching?

You might’ve already picked on some of the advantages of caching — like the way it speeds up the loading process for web pages, for example.

While devs have been using caching as a powerful, low-effort strategy for significantly reducing build times, let’s take a look at some of the other advantages you can gain from caching.

Allows faster builds

Caching is so important for reducing build times by pulling from cached versions of previous builds. But there are plenty of other ways to save time on your builds.

For example, the shift left approach is much easier with caching, moving some of the processes, tasks, or testing activities to earlier in the software development lifecycle—things like code reviews, testing, and security checks.

By shifting these processes closer to the beginning of the development cycle, you’re more likely to find and address issues earlier, improving your code quality and reducing the chances of defects.

This then means devs can expect faster response times, translating to a faster time for resolving bugs and speeding up the time to market.

Another thing that caching is amazing at — and devs love — is coping with crunch times. The more builds a dev team executes, the more loaded with versions their cache will be, making it all the more efficient.

All of this faster build time translates into lower costs, especially when you’re using cloud resources for your projects. As you know, those costs know how to add up.

It also saves money on CI (continuous integration) server licenses, as each CI server can complete more builds in parallel, so you won’t need to shell out precious dollars on yet more licenses.

Reuses cached data between continuous integration (CI) builds

And speaking of CI builds, reusing cached data has a whole host of benefits, from preventing time-wasting to optimizing how devs use their resources; from streamlining your CI processes to minimizing your required storage capacity.

But how does it work?

Easy — caching stores and retrieves previously downloaded artifacts and intermediate build states.

This not only helps devs cut down on consuming new resources; it also means companies are in a better position to scale their projects more effectively, and allocate resources where they’re needed most.

And as we mentioned before, it’s a more cost-effective way to manage your resources, so your wallets will also thank you.

So that’s improved efficiency and improved ROI for your software development. Nice.

Boosts developer productivity

Let’s face it, you’d be a lot more productive if you didn’t need to completely rebuild every time you switch branches or introduce new code.

And that’s what caching dodges.

So you can cut your wait times and redundancy way down, and optimize your resource use to get the most out of your project without weighing you down.

And you’ll soon notice the difference in your team — the extra time you gain from caching helps empower devs to stay focused and keep that momentum going while giving them the time to adopt best practices. In time, this will result in more streamlined and effective workflows to enjoy.

Enables true “work from anywhere” without impacting speed

Anyone who’s ever had a dodgy internet connection knows that location is key — whether that’s a different country or a different side of the room.

Having true ‘work from anywhere’ with caching means you cut down on the impact of network latency. That’s by using downstream bandwidth to work seamlessly from different locations.

And with dev teams literally spread all over the world today, this means you can bypass the challenges remote and hybrid teams normally face—like depending on centralized build servers, for example.

This allows your devs to be more ‘on it’ when it comes to changing business needs, or new market demands.

How can Incredibuild help me with caching?

Curious how we use caching? Here’s a quick aside on how we use caching to our advantage.

We’ve developed a build caching method that’s developed on our platform’s strong and road-tested parallel distribution technology. This tech uses low-level system hooks applied directly into processes.

(If that sounds similar to how antivirus software works, that’s because it is.)

This approach lets us automatically track every file read and other inputs accessed by a process. This mapping capability works wonders for identifying task dependencies, so you (the user) and the tool don’t have to deal with any added complexities.

Which we count as a big win.

Software development is caching in

Gone are the days of sluggish software builds causing you to have an irreversible caffeine crash from waiting for hours for one update.

Now, devs can use the superpower of caching to speed up build times, cut down waiting times, and optimize how they use their resources.

And thanks to caching improving not only performance but ROI, it’s helped revolutionize software development workflows to make them more streamlined, cost-effective, and adaptable to changing business needs.

This makes caching a huge pay-off for companies looking to achieve efficiency, agility, and an all-important competitive edge for their software development.

Joseph Sibony
Joseph Sibony reading time: 6 minutes minutes March 7, 2024
March 7, 2024

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