Archive for the ‘Conferences’ tag
Often the most painful and time consuming part of a software project is the Last Mile, getting it deployed and working in production. Why is this the case? To understand this, it is useful to look at the underlying issues such as not having decent source control, lack of automated tests, excessive branching (and eventual merging), dedicated teams and infrequent releases. These impede our productivity on a daily basis and when left unresolved, become magnified during the Last Mile.
Without shortening the Last Mile, our deployments are delayed and unpredictable events. As a result, we are unable to quickly respond to changing business needs.
So how do we shorten the Last Mile? Enter continuous integration. The beauty of continuous integration is that it is the cornerstone for resolving these issues - it forces us to get source control under control, brings visibility to the health of our code base, challenges us to think of multiple environments and configurations and encourages us to automate repetitive tasks. True to it’s name, it encourages us to integrate early and often. With CI, we’re already resolving integration issues from day 1 thereby making deployment to production thankfully, a non-event.
Troy Gould and I presented The Last Mile at the Agile Vancouver 2009 Conference this week. The presentation looks at the problems faced by teams trying to get software released, recommends good CI practices, introduces build pipelining with Cruise as an overall structure to manage the build-deploy-test-release process and encourages us not to stop with CI as a build server, but leverage it to automate deployments to environments including production. Thanks to those who attended. It was exciting to see all those actively using CI on their projects. The slides can be downloaded here (17MB).
Thanks to all who attended. As promised, the presentation and code can be downloaded here: Grocery List
At the Burton Group Catalyst Conference in San Francisco last week, I had the pleasure of tending a booth in Microsoft’s Hospitality suite to spread the good word about Information Card Ruby. The booths centered on the theme of identity, with great representation from companies and leaders in this space. The excitement and activity around information cards was quite inspiring. For instance, I had an interesting discussion with a participant from the insurance industry whose clients are primarily senior citizens. The intuitive nature of the information card experience is of interest, as providing an information card from your identity selector at a website closely parallels the real world scenario of providing a piece of ID from your wallet at the supermarket. Moreover, one less username + password to remember not only appeals to seniors, but myself included! There was also interest from a wide spectrum of organizations, including a college administrator who was interested in the applicability of information card authentication for his students and staff. Many others wanted to understand more fully managed card scenarios and wished to see major sites adopting information cards. Understandably so, when more major sites adopt information cards it will provide the confidence, knowledge and momentum for other interested parties to follow. Having said that, there are impressive sandbox/demo sites available to give users a feel for the information card experience, including the nicely done Fabrikam Friends. And finally, I was impressed by Gemalto’s booth which showcased a modified Windows CardSpace client to store your information cards on a smart card. This allows you to take your information cards with you wherever you go. Kim Cameron, which I had the pleasure of meeting at Burton, nicely summarizes Gemalto’s offering here. Overall, the activity and curiosity around information cards was great to see – definitely interesting times in the identity space.