Boring Is Good

I find a lot of excitement in being boring.  Really!

But I suppose I should say something about the context of that…

I’ve been spending a lot of time over the last couple years focused on the build/deploy cycle in a nearly-Agile environment (still working on the Agile part).  I’ve been involved in deployments before but for the first time I’m in an organization that really wants to do it well, and is willing to invest in doing so.

We have certain goals:

  • Have productive development and testing environments
  • Have boring deployments into each environment, including production

And here are the characteristics of boring deployments:

  1. Little impact to the end users
    1. Minimal downtime
    2. No errors introduced by the deployment process
    3. Up-to-date help documents, customer service preparation, training infrastructure, etc.
  2. Not a fire drill
    1. Few people needed to run the deployment process
    2. Minimal time spent gearing up for deployment
    3. Quick deployment time
    4. Low risk of having to call anyone else during deployment (or afterward) to deal with issues
  3. WYSIWYP (What You See Is What You Planned)
    1. Expected features are present and working
    2. Bugs (well, most of them) known
  4. Worry-free
    1. Managers come to expect few problems related to deployment (unfortunate side-effect:  they then forget its importance and difficulty)
    2. Developers, including Quality Assurance staff if the organization has such positions, expect the software to work as well in production as is did in all the test environments
    3. People take vacations without having them interrupted or preempted by deployment issues.

As you can see, I think that the software deployment process should involve the whole organization, not just IT Developers and/or IT Administrators.  I’m (mostly) a technical guy and expect to write more on what this means to developers and administrators.  But I think it’s good to put it in proper organizational perspective.

And it’s good to be boring!

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6 Responses to “Boring Is Good”

  1. Good Software Deployment Practices, Part VI: “Know what you’ve deployed” « Surrounding The Code Says:

    […] is part of a series of posts on how to make software deployments boring, because Boring is good!  Today I’ll start with an old nursery rhyme I learned as a […]

  2. Good Software Deployment Practices, Part V: "Deploy Your Deployment Process" « Surrounding The Code Says:

    […] Good Software Deployment Practices, Part V: "Deploy Your Deployment Process" Filed under: Uncategorized — dreamatwork @ 3:30 am This is part of a series of posts on how to make software deployments boring, because Boring is good! […]

  3. Good Software Deployment Practices, Part IV: “Deploy The Same Bits” « Surrounding The Code Says:

    […] Good Software Deployment Practices, Part IV: “Deploy The Same Bits” Filed under: Deployment — Tags: Deployment, Builds — dreamatwork @ 11:14 pm This is part of a series of posts on how to make software deployments boring, because Boring is good! […]

  4. Good Software Deployment Practices, Part III: More on “The Build” « Surrounding The Code Says:

    […] Good Software Deployment Practices, Part III: More on “The Build” Filed under: Deployment — Tags: Deployment, Builds, Configuration — dreamatwork @ 7:50 pm This is part of an ongoing series of posts dealing with the practices that will make software deployments boring.  Because boring is good! […]

  5. Good Software Deployment Practices, Part II: “The Build” « Surrounding The Code Says:

    […] that occur when deploying to production.  We are shooting for boring deployments:  Boring Is Good! Leave a […]

  6. Good Software Deployment Practices « Surrounding The Code Says:

    […] Uncategorized — dreamatwork @ 8:58 pm I earlier mentioned my software deployment goal: Boring Is Good!  Over several posts I will cover some of the things that can help accomplish that goal, […]


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