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Practicing Deployments Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2013 12:09 AM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Practicing Deployments






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Post #1418767
Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2013 2:00 AM


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One of the key parts of this is automation. Automate what you can to make it repeatable. This reduces the possibilities of human error which is something we endeavour to minimise as much as possible because it is our greatest weakness (as well as being our greatest strength - adaptability being the converse). Remove as much doubt as possible and, yes...

...get build and deployment sorted out early on. This means it can be sorted out when the deployment is at its simplest, when there is the least commercial pressure and when stakeholders have the most goodwill (the hiccups of early deployments will be countered by the continually successful deployments thereafter).

As for early deployment being a mark of a professional, I think that it can be a little harsh. Perhaps the desire for early deployment is the mark of a professional?


Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1418800
Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2013 11:01 AM


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I think there's a big caveat when using a model of deploying early and often. This approach can too easily lead to a culture where the early adopters of the "production" software are in reality just beta testers. There are reasons why the belief exists that you don't install new Microsoft products untill after SP1.

In the business world, people are trying to perform tasks, and want a stable environment to do it in. It's a thin tightrope to walk between being agile and responsive to business needs vs. getting something out just to say you've accomplished something. I've seen too many times in both in-house software development and comercial software where short term thinking and a desire to meet artificial dates rushed things into use that weren't ready. I think the real thing to take away from the referenced article is to keep the user community involved more, give people what they really need, and try to remember that quantity does not trump quality.
Post #1419119
Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2013 11:25 AM


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Totally agree. Initial deployments should be internal in my opinion.

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1419134
Posted Monday, February 18, 2013 10:37 AM
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I work for a software consumer, as opposed to a development house. We are not happy with the quality of deployments in the health care industry. Let's skip software quality for now and stick to the point.

Let me start with saying that we have some vendors that do an exceptional job. Some of our vendors do remote installs and upgrades, some come on site, and the best of them tend to do very well with their product. Some of them even have some understanding of third party tools that their application requires. Kudos to those and other companies that take the time to do the best they can.

We also have vendors that absolutely need to find another way to do things. In some cases, everything about their process is flawed. In other cases, what is usually done very well, fails in cases where things are slightly out of norm. The industry has an issue with this, and it needs to be fixed. Below are some examples of things I have seen.

A vendor is doing an upgrade on one of our systems. The old database is SQL 2000. The new database is SQL 2008. They provided instructions for SQL 2005. The requirements they provided for the servers were wrong, and 75% of them had to be rebuilt. They uninstalled SQL without permission and later restored a test database over future production, with the expectation that it will be used going forward as a test database. Guess we won't ever need a production database...

Another vendor typically does excellent work. Previous upgrades have gone very smooth, with any issues that came up being within what I feel are acceptable limits. This last upgrade was one of the worst I have ever experienced. Things that were outside their control probably led to most of the issues, for example the birth of a baby a week before the upgrade, but the lack of processes to cover this type of issue is unacceptable. People get sick, and replacements need to be able to jump in and hit the ground running. Documentation of the customer's system isn't hard to create, and can go a long way to eliminating issues when replacement staff must take over. Some of the other issues were simply due to mistakes being made, but I don't know that they would have occurred had there not been a change in team members so close to go live.

Part of the issue here is that companies are always trying to do more with less. Increasing the profit margin by reducing staff can only go so far before this leads to costs on the other side that end up in a loss of revenue and reputation. Unwillingness to hire people with the knowledge required, and unwillingness to train those that are employed, is leading to an environment where mistakes occur with regularity, and in some cases are extremely costly.

Fixing these issues is larger than a single developer, but we can point out where weaknesses exist, and we can improve our own processes in the hope of reducing their impact on the overall environment.



Dave
Post #1421301
Posted Monday, February 18, 2013 1:40 PM


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djackson 22568 (2/18/2013)
Part of the issue here is that companies are always trying to do more with less. Increasing the profit margin by reducing staff can only go so far before this leads to costs on the other side that end up in a loss of revenue and reputation. Unwillingness to hire people with the knowledge required, and unwillingness to train those that are employed, is leading to an environment where mistakes occur with regularity, and in some cases are extremely costly.


Good point, and this environment as you stated so accurately above, usually initiates and results in a never-ending chain of high turnover rate as well. Which just adds to the quality assurance problems they are already experiencing, because of what you stated above. In my experience in the past, a lot of these IT shops that are experiencing this condition, the management is either clueless or just doesn't care.


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1421340
Posted Monday, February 18, 2013 1:50 PM


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TravisDBA (2/18/2013)
...the management is either clueless or just doesn't care.


Not always mutually exclusive. Unfortunately.


Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1421341
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