Monday, February 4, 2008

Quick Releases Aren't Always Good

One of the things I love about Ruby and Rails is how incredibly convenient they make the steps after implementation. After a feature or bugfix is done, it's simple to run the automated tests (let's assume you have written them). And deploying can be as simple as three or four words - "cap deploy production" or the like.

Sometimes, convenience means sloppiness.

Easy deployment can sometimes mean you don't actually look at a feature, or you don't run the tests because "that couldn't possibly have broken anything". The net result is that you deploy something thoroughly broken.

Case in point: one of my projects uses Lighthouse for defect tracking. It's generally a good little system - ASP-hosted, written in Ruby on Rails, quite simple. ..... And about once a month, someone deploys something totally broken. The entire site is down for anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours.

So use the tools that make deployment easy, but keep asking yourself if it's too easy - and don't let easy become sloppy.

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