Boundless, continuous delivery, Damon Poole, Eliasen Group, HubSpot, ThoughtBot

Software Development Seminar: Continuous Delivery – to have or have not

A link to all
presentations is below.

Damon Poole (@damonpoole), Chief Agilist at Eliasen

set the stage for MassTLC’s software development meeting last night at VMWare
in Cambridge with an overview of Continuous Delivery (CD) and the tools and
strategies needed to move to CD to make more money. He
reminded us that we should all be measured on business value delivery not on
how many lines of code are written or how many bugs are fixed.  Our ability to deliver value by bringing
ideas to market faster and reducing cycle time is crucial.  

Next, Aaron White (@aaronwhite) from Boundless, a start-up in Boston
that makes textbooks free online for college students, discussed their
implementation of the entire suite of agile strategies, from CD to Continuous
Integration to Kanban.  They average 10+
deployments per day and every team member takes ownership from conception to
deployment including development, test, QA and their also considering customer
support.  To support this they widely use
automated testing. They built an internal dashboard to manage their change log,
which is crucial to managing what’s going out the door. He also highly
recommends Trello as a helpful Kanban project management tool. 

Chad Pytel (@cpytel) from ThoughtBot, a consulting shop in
Boston that builds web and mobile apps on Ruby, has two roles for employees at
his company: either designer or developer. There is no QA stage as developers
have to write their own tests which is critical to the success of CD. They
deliver daily but do weekly retrospectives. 
They built their own project management tool that is hugely successful
for planning time, setting schedules and priorities. Of note, they have a
great 3 month training and mentoring program in place to find top talent!
Elias Torres (@eliast), joined us from Hubspot.  At $65M in revenue, they only have 45
engineers and work in small 3 person teams. Each team defines their own process for scheduling &
prioritizing engineers and own their products from code to operations. They seem to win the prize for most deployments as they deploy
100+ times per day. Elias did note that going fast is great but it also has its
price.  Quote “We break shit all the time
– but we also fix things very quickly.” The amount of change between
deployments is so small they can either roll back to the last deploy or fix
very quickly.  They have also found that sometimes the amount of change
can be difficult for customers.  Communications
with the rest of the company and their customers is critical. What keeps Elias
up at night? If they slow down, the fixes will all be bigger and more could be
broken. Some of the challenges are using 1500 Amazon servers which can cause
complications. “We focus on developer productivity. We automate everything
except writing new code,” concludes Elias. 
the presentations, it was a very active discussion with the audience.  Thanks to all who participated. As it was a
hot topic of the night, look for a follow-on session on the challenge of Automated Testing.  Interested in being involved?  Shoot me a note at Christine@masstlc.org.  Also, don’t forget to look for our roundtable
discussion in April on Managing Distributed Agile Teams.

to our sponsors:  Constant Contact, DYN, Rally
Verivo and VMWare and to VMWare for
Christine Nolan

Upcoming Events


Related Articles