Copyright 2017 Jason Ross, All Rights Reserved

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Conway’s Law states:

"Any organization that designs a system...will inevitably produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization's communication structure."

It’s often paraphrased as the structure of software developed by an organization reflects the structure of that organization. What if this sort of reflection applies in other areas?

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

A few years ago I was working in The City of London. The company I worked for had a very good development process – continuous integration, unit testing and several test environments before production (the sort of thing described in Eliminating Failed Deployments – Part 1 – Replication! Automation! Complication?). Environment-specific values were automatically inserted into configuration files and deployments were made by staff who weren’t developers.

With all that, you’d expect that deployments went perfectly, but they didn’t. We still had problems that weren’t always enough to warrant rolling back the deployment, but WERE enough to cause delays and the occasional frantic phone calls and debugging sessions.

One particular deployment faltered because the deployment didn’t update some permissions to match the other changes it had made. After you experience problems like this a few times, it’s easy to see how obsession can build up.

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

How is the software that's installed on your systems built? Do your developers manually build every version on their machines, or do they use a dedicated build system? If you don't know, ask your development manager to show you the latest build on the build system. If they're not sure, ask one of your senior developers; ideally their answer will be along the lines of "Which build server do you want to see?".

If they can't show you the build system, ask them whether they're using Continuous Integration, or CI, to build the software. If they're not, ask them why not; bear in mind there is NO right answer to this question!

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Whatever development method you use, eventually your software will need to be deployed to your production environment.

It’s a scenario that occurs in every company with a software development team: the software is declared to be finished and ready to be deployed from development into production. The deployment scripts and installers are ready (if you’re not using installers then that’s a totally different set of problems), and there is an air of tension around the team responsible for the deployment. That air of tension is actually the first serious warning sign and you should take notice of it.

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Visual Studio is very good at migrating solutions and projects from its older versions. However everything has limits, and I’ve seen a few very rare cases where it doesn’t quite work. The main problem I’ve encountered can be recreated as follows: