Installable daily builds and salesmen

2007-05-27

    I have quite often ended up in situations where the salesman has promised new or existing customer non-existing functions. Functions that took lots of overtime and ugly code to get done. When developers, more or less loudly, protests against this practice they are either laughed off or told they don’t understand the sales process.

    Quite often these forced solutions are not tested enough so the client isn’t satisfied anyway.

    Assuming you took my previous advice and created releasable daily builds, I suggest you deliver what you have at the moment and update with new functionality as it is done. With shorter iterations everyone involved gets a feeling of success. This will probably not work for all kinds of systems but I think that generally it is not devastating if you (re-)introduce a bug that a large regression test would have found. The risk is quite big that a suite of test that are run a couple of times a year will find less than an ever growing suite of tests that are run every day. Furthermore, the receiver knows it it non-critical since there a new deliveries soon.

    I don’t think you should be afraid to deliver often. One way of removing that fear is to have a well organized automatic test suite and build environment.