If you are setting up a continuous integration environment for anything serious and Jenkins is your choice of a continuous integration tool, then there can be a learning curve. By default Jenkins comes bundled with very little features. For anything more, you need to install plugins. Here is a list of plugins, that can make the learning curve easier (even for the future me when I have forgotten everything that I have learnt)
1. The green balls plugin: The default colour for a successful build in Jenkins is blue. If you call a successful build ‘a green build’, then it changes the blue balls to green and your brain doesn’t have to map the blue to green ever again.
2. The copy artifact plugin: This helps you copy artefacts from other successful projects. A classic example for it being an acceptance test job that copies a successful build, deploys it and tests it.
3. The promoted builds plugin: This helps you set up a deployment pipeline. You can either manually promote a good build or even better, promote a build when a downstream job like acceptance tests goes green. The UI to set it up is not very intuitive, but if you get your head around it sort of works. I have used it in conjunction with the copy artifact plugin when I had to deploy multiple promoted builds into one environment.
4. The SCM sync configuration plugin: Setting up a deployment pipeline is no trivial job. It can take weeks to get everything working. The last thing you want is a hard disk crash to make you do it all over again. That is where the SCM configuration plugin comes into the picture. It syncs all you job configuration to a an SCM (I used git), so that if something goes wrong I can recover all my job configuration. It can also work to your advantage when you want a like for like Jenkins environment in another machine.