When reviewing features created through our own agile development process, I find there are few tools more valuable than a good working Build Integration. Whether I’m testing features, creating release notes or just getting a handle on things to update a local system, the power of direct links from the story or defect to the build in which that item was delivered is incredibly convenient. Like a good friend who is always there, however, it’s easily taken for granted.
I was recently reminded of this when we changed our build system and had a temporary outage in the build integration. Suddenly, I could no longer just run a report to feed my release notes. I couldn’t tell where a defect fix had been backported (or if it had been backported, for that matter) just by looking at it. I was back in a strange siloed world where my end product had no linkage to the feature inventory that spawned it. It was like my best friend had gone away on vacation and left me behind to pull weeds all summer. It was awful.
Luckily, we got our integration updated and the world is rosy once again. It was a tough run while my best friend was away so I’m sure glad it’s back.
If you don’t have build integration running in your continuous integration environment, I highly recommend you take a look and see what it can do for you. You might just meet a new best friend in the process.