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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ship It! - 2.4 Build Automatically

Rebuilding each time code is committed keeps your code base clean by catching compile errors as soon as they occur.

Tip 6: Build continuously

Tip 7: Test continuously

How Do I Get Started?
  • select a build system, don't write your own
  • obtain a clean machine to run on
  • install your automatic build system, configure it for the environment and document every step of the install

Am I Using This Right?
  • do you have tests in the system?
  • is anyone paying attention to the system?
  • does the build get fixed quickly?
  • does your build finish in a reasonable time?
My favorite idea from this section is that a build kicks off as soon as somebody commits code.  Most projects I've worked on used scheduled builds but, like the books suggest, that allows many changes to be added which increases the time needed to figure out who broke the build.  One small project, however, did triggered builds and I really liked it.  We had to go in and modify a Subversion script to do it but it worked as advertised.  If you forgot to build everything prior to check in, the CI server told the whole world.

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