Busy Boy…

February 9, 2008

Hello All.I am, indeed, still alive.  But have been a very busy boy lately.  But a happy busy boy.We’re working on a large-scale project, built on Rails, due for a bug kahuna release some time this side of winter.It’s been a fantastic eye-opening experience for me, as we’re truly doing the continuous integration thing, and reaping the “long term” benefits – even at this relatively early stage.  I’d heard all the theories from a multitude of people before, but never really seen it executed well in practice.  Until now (big kudos to the guys, especially Will).So what’s this continuous integration all about?:

  • Every time some one checks code into the source code “trunk”, all (automated) tests are executed to validate the build – in other words, the build is “validated”
  • Everyone gets visibility of the (mostly) successful builds.  Good build = kudos.   We’re doing about 5-10 check-ins per day.
  • If a build fails, the project team is notified!!   Bad kudos for the developer.  Bad Kudos = Incentive to improve
  • Quality of code is maintained.  Bugs are reduced
  • More test coverage = more confidence = faster release cycles = agile business = keep ahead of others
  • Eventually leads to a test driven development (TDD) mentality
What it really means is that you are able to change with confidence, and change fast.  If you hadn’t already noticed – this is kinda a key factor for success, if not survival.
I’m really chuffed to work with a crew that are committed to this philosophy, and know that what we’re delivering to our client is top drawer stuff.
It’s the way to go. 

2 Responses to “Busy Boy…”

  1. Nic Wise Says:

    yay, good on ya! What are you using for CI with rails? I’ve only done it with .NET – so CruiseControl.NET.

    Combine it with Test First Development (aka TDD), and you can have it build, run all your tests, compute code coverage, package the build into a deployment, or even deploy it, all with zero intervention. It’s fantastic!

    I’m at the BBC at the moment (in London), and we are fully into the TDD/Agile/CI/etc ways. Makes it SO easier to plan and work.

  2. Dan Says:

    We’re using CruiseControl with Rails! Haven’t quite got to the automated deployment stage yet but it’s a great way of working and gives you immense confidence and agility.

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