We're nearing the end of a release cycle. I was in the lab today running an install and as I was waiting for the installer to run I cleaned off the QA desk a bit. And I found a bit of nostalgia....
A stack of CDs of older builds of this release. All these were builds we'd tested and weren't shipping for one reason or another (not feature complete, contains must fix bugs, etc).
It was a fun moment of thinking back over the release and where we'd come.
Pre-Build 04/30: Not even the actual software, just a build to show we could install the base packages
Build 8: the first build we'd been able to install and actually form into a running system
Build 25: some really wacky configuration bugs in this one
Build 64: our last good installer for a little while - we used this one a lot while an installer bug was being fixed
Build 86: all the pieces worked, this build was about finding the ways in which they didn't play well together
Build 115: getting close here; we used this build to verify a lot of bugs
Build 122: pretty solid so far....
Release cycles can be pretty intense, and they're definitely forward-looking; we want to see and spend most of our time thinking about the next build and the current build and what's coming and what's changing. It's interesting, though, to take a few minutes and think about how you got to where you are.
That stack of CDs and the memories of the builds on them is almost a mini postmortem. It's a reflection of the path we took, with all its twists and turns, all it's steps forward and steps back.
And then my install completed. Onward and upward!