Release Process: Goals
One of the many things that my former company, 1E, does well is its build and release process. That got me thinking: what makes a good build process?
The Joel Test touches on this in item #2 (Can you make a build in one step?) and item #3 (Do you make daily builds?), and – to a lesser extent – item #1 (Do you use source control?). But he doesn’t go into any detail about why…
I think that there are 4 goals to keep in mind when designing a build and release process:
- A new developer must be able to walk up to a new PC, get the latest source code and build it in a single step.
- When a developer commits changes to the project, they must be relatively certain that they’ve not broken anything.
- When you’re ready to release something to your customers, you should be able to do this in a single step.
- When a customer support case comes in, the developer responsible must be able to identify exactly which release the customer has, and exactly what went into that release.