The hard work behind the code

Posted in: Development

The other day, Ross wrote about the Digital team's delivery principles. I have been working on modernising our development infrastructure for the last few weeks and our fortnightly open house Show & Tell meeting (part of #6 - "work in the open") gave a great opportunity to talk about why this work is really important.

Behold the presentation:

Prezi talk on continuous integration
Yes, I used Prezi - don't judge me.

Principle #5 is "do the hard work behind the code":

The success of a great digital product or service doesn't rest entirely on what appears on screen. To deliver accurate, pleasing and sustainable products and services means investing in simple instructions, efficient workflows, accurate monitoring and great support.

In the above presentation three of the steps deal with testing and deployment to servers. This can be cumbersome and time consuming and there isn't a visible benefit for our users. Reducing the processes to a series of clicks saves developers time and mental energy which allows them to focus on developing.

It has taken quite a bit of effort to get everything behaving as we wanted. Building Play applications, downloading dependencies through the corporate firewall, running the tests, error-free deployment to load balanced Tomcat servers - all of these simple tasks become much more difficult when asking a server to do them. Finally though, we have reached a position where Bamboo is doing all of this for us automatically (or on demand in the case of deployment) and so the focus of developing our applications is back on the product rather than the infrastructure supporting it.

Continuous integration and deployment tackled. Now to write some new applications!

Posted in: Development